State Board of Education Votes Against Mexican-American Studies Textbook

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The State Board of Education has weighed out the proposed Mexican-American studies textbook, and found it wanting.

That's right, on Wednesday the board voted 14-0 to reject the controversial textbook which critics have been enthusiastically opposing. They maintain the textbook is racist and inaccurate.

Ironically, the textbook, Mexican American Heritage, was intended to satisfy various groups who have been pushing for the past couple of years for a Mexican-American history class.

The resulting textbook, described as "unfixable" by numerous opponents, was created by Momentum Instruction, a company owned by former State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar. (Dunbar infamously published a book questioning whether public schools are even constitutionally allowed during her stint on the board a few years ago.) The book portrays Hispanics as lazy criminals and has been a source of ire and fierce opposition ever since it started undergoing the State Board of Education's review process earlier this year.

After hearing more than three hours of testimony about the book on Tuesday, on Wednesday the board (minus one member, David Bradley, who was absent) voted down the textbook. This isn't the last word on the matter — the board is slated to hold a final vote to reject the book on Friday — but it's pretty close to the end of the line.

So while the board has done some remarkably questionable things in recent years — see the history and science textbooks they've signed off on — they stopped short of approving Dunbar's textbook.

This doesn't mean the book won't be in the world, according to Texas Tribune — board member Thomas Ratliff noted that Dunbar can always publish the book herself — but it will not be on the board's approved list of classroom materials.

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