TX State Board of Education hold public hearings Wednesday on new Mex-American textbook

TX State Board of Education hold public hearings Wednesday on new Mex-American textbook

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Call-to-Action, General

TX State Board of Education hold public hearings Wednesday on new Mex-American textbook

GritoBlast! — In November 2016, the Texas State Board of Education, under immense pressure, voted to reject a Mexican American studies textbook that many inside and outside the state saw as racist and rife with errors. The campaign against adoption of the textbook was nationwide but one Texan took it upon himself to not just campaign against the submitted text but create a whole new text to replace it.

Houston-based educator, author and activist Tony Díaz, who spearheaded the Librotraficante movement, wrote The Mexican American Studies Toolkit.

Diaz’s book encompasses topics like indigenous roots, identity, lost histories and immigration, among others. He also includes several pages of his own journey (pictures of himself included) as the Librotraficante, recounting how he took banned Latino-authored or Latino subject books into Arizona.

For Diaz, the Mexican American Studies Toolkit has been as much a labor of love as righting a wrong. On Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, Diaz will see if all his hard work paid off. Public hearings will be held in Austin, TX before the State Board of Education on the textbook.

Diaz is putting out the word for those who want to testify. The deadline to register to testify is today, Monday, Sept. 11 by 5 p.m.

According to Diaz, here is how to register:

Step 1:
The easiest way to register is to call: 512 463-9609
or 512 463-9023.

Step 2:
Tell them you want to give public testimony for the Texas State Board of Education meeting.
You want to provide testimony during the discussion on the adoption process.
You are testifying to support the adoption of The Mexican American Studies Toolkit.
They will ask you if you are in favor of or against.
They will ask you to provide 35 copies of your testimony. Say you will. Do not worry if you can’t. If you can, that means the board members may refer to them later.

Step 3:
Pubic Testimony is scheduled to being around 9 am, Wed. Sept. 13, 2017 at the William B. Travis Building.
William B. Travis (WBT) State Office Building
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701

Step 4:
You may also ask the person who takes your information to let you know who is your Texas State Board of Education Members.
Call them to let them know you support the textbook.

 

For those who can’t make it to Austin, Tony supplies some talking points:

If you can’t go, please call you Texas State Board of Education Representative to tell them to support The Mexican American Studies Toolkit.
“My name is _____. I live in your district, and I am calling to ask you to vote to adopt the Mexican American Studies Toolkit for adoption in Texas schools.”
1. Research from Stanford University indicates that culturally relevant courses boosted attendance and academic performance for students.
2. This textbook was designed by writers and educators with experience in the class room. The content is based on lesson plans that educate and interest students of all backgrounds.
3. Some of the topics include: Oral Histories of Mexican American World War II Veterans, The Origins of Day of the Dead, and insights into Aztec Dance, as well as contemporary issues.

How to find out who your Texas State Board of Education member is:

If you live in Texas, there are 2 ways to find out who your Texas State Board of Education Representative is.
1. Click the icon or google “Who represents me?”
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
Type in your address and follow the links.
2. Or call the TX SBOE (512) 463-9007. Ask them that you want to know who is your Texas State Board of Representative.

…It is not just a list of words, this is not simply a list of dates, this is not just a listing of people… the Mexican American Studies Toolkit will dispel the illusion that Mexican American history and culture is foreign. Mexican American History and culture are American History and culture, as are other fields of Ethnic Studies. As with the dictionary, this book is the latest update necessary to dispel illusions.