Education: Showdown in Texas

Schoolbooks become a political battleground

Textbook content shall promote citizenship and the understanding of the free-enterprise system, emphasize patriotism and respect for recognized authority . . . Textbook content shall not encourage lifestyles deviating from generally accepted standards of society. —Proclamation of the Texas state board of education, 1982

It is textbook-selection time in Texas, an annual debate between special interest groups over what students should read in public classrooms. In Austin last week, concerned citizens and publishers jammed the weeklong state textbook committee hearings to criticize publishers' interpretations of sensitive subjects such...

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