Texas Board Bans Popular Children’s Author By Mistake

January 26, 2010 1 min read

Oops! In their rush to make sure that the author of a book on Marxism didn’t make it into the state’s new lineup of social studies standards, members of the state’s board of education ended up banning a similarly-named children’s author, Bill Martin Jr., who wrote the iconic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

It seems the board meant to keep Bill Martin, a DePaul University philosophy professor and the author of Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation out of the new social studies curriculum, but, due to some shoddy online research, wound up also barring the inclusion of the other Bill Martin.

Bill Martin Jr., the children’s author, was slated to be listed with writers like Laura Ingalls Wilder among major contributors to American culture. This case of mistaken identity has spawned tons of snide commentary about the intellectual capacity of some members of the state board, who are elected. No word yet on whether the board will reverse its action on Bill Martin Jr.

Perhaps this embarrassing little mix-up might get folks in Texas to reconsider their opposition to signing onto national standards?

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.