The Texas Freedom Network, for those unfamiliar with their work, is an organization here in Texas dedicated to serve as a mainstream voice to counter the religious right. Their efforts over the years have been instrumental in recent years, perhaps none more importants than their ongoing battle against the Texas State Board of Education.
Tomorrow, they will host a “Don't White-Out Our History” rally:
Don't let the SBOE white-wash history! Rally with the Texas Freedom Network on May 19 in support of new social studies curriculum standards that are based on sound scholarship and factual history, not political agendas. This is your chance to stand up to political extremism on the State Board of Education. The rally begins at 1 p.m. at the William B. Travis Building, 1701 Congress Ave., in Austin.
The Texas Freedom Network's blog, TFN Insider, is an excellent place for all information about the SBOE. In fact, starting tomorrow, they will be live-blogging the SBOE meetings each day:
The board will hear public testimony on the proposed standards beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Board members will debate and consider amendments to the standards on Thursday. A final vote on the standards is scheduled for Friday. TFN Insider will blog from the meeting all three days.
If you live outside of Texas and want to stay up to date with the latest action of the SBOE meetings this week, I strong recommend following the TFN Insider blog. I will do all I can, during the day, to capture what they have online and offer up reports myself — but stay with TFN Insider to know the latest.
Additionally, if you are on Twitter, here are some good people to follow if you want to stay up to date:
- @museblogger — Martha Griffin, one of our netroots leaders here in Texas, is an expert activist on all matters education, especially on the SBOE. She has already been doing excellent tweeting on updates today — if you follow one person on Twitter for the SBOE information, make it Martha.
- @RaRapoport with the @TexasObserver — Abby Rapoport has gone to write for the Texas Observer. She's been following the SBOE very closely, and is well-versed in a number of their rulings and procedures. Follow her for sure.
- @katealexander with the @Statesman — Kate Alexander, with the Austin American-Statesman, has become their expert on this issue. Over the weekend she wrote two great pieces on the SBOE: (1) “Texas curriculum fight was orchestrated over more than a decade” and (2) “New science textbooks face budget snag.” Follow Kate to see how the local Austin newspaper is covering the conversation.
Finally, for anyone looking for additional resoruces, I offer you some from BOR and some important resources provided by the Texas Freedom Network. Happy reading — we'll check back on this issue tomorrow.
Previous Stories on BOR
- Texas Freedom Network: “Is This about 'Payback' or Education?”
- Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott Describes SBOE Curriculum Changes As “Payback”
- SBOE Chairwoman Gail Lowe Ducks Texas Lawmakers
- SBOE Social Studies Battle: Teaching Republican Party Ideology?
- History Curriculum Battle: McLeroy Blind to Reality
- SBOE Chair Gail Lowe is Not Much Improvement from Rick Perry
Additional Resources, Courtesy of the Texas Freedom Network
A summary of the worst changes to the standards pushed through by far-right members of the state board in January and March: http://tfninsider.org/2010/03/13/the-list-of-shame-in-texas/.
Board member Don McLeroy, R-College Station, has proposed a new slate of politicized revisions, which will be considered this week: http://tfninsider.org/2010/05/14/it-gets-even-worse/
Video of the board meeting will be streamed live over the Internet: http://www.texasadmin.com/cgi-bin/tea.cgi
Drafts of the proposed standards: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=3643
More about the State Board of Education: http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SBOE