States

Children’s Author Snared in Mix-Up

By The Associated Press — February 02, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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 Texas board of education ended up targeting a similarly named children’s author, Bill Martin Jr., who wrote the iconic read-aloud favorite 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 Bill Martin Jr., the children’s author who died in 2004, was slated to be listed in the state’s 3rd grade social studies curriculum standards along with writers like Laura Ingalls Wilder as major contributors to American culture.

Because of a mix-up that one board member blamed on information from another, the board wound up barring the inclusion of both, at least for now.

For some, the mix-up is an indication of a larger problem with the way the elected board members have approached the update of state curriculum standards, also known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.

Board members will take up social studies standards again in March. They plan to take a final vote on updates in May.

The banning motion is “a new low in terms of the group that’s supposed to represent education having such faulty research and making such a false leap without substantiating what they’re doing,” said Michael Sampson, Mr. Martin’s co-author on 30 children’s books and a professor of early childhood education at the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg.

The philosophy professor whose book was on the list, meanwhile, expressed surprise in an e-mail that “the Texas state board of education would even be aware” of his books.

“But I imagine this trustee applied the same level of care in her inquiry on this question as she brings to the idea that young people cannot be exposed to criticisms of the capitalist system,” he wrote. “So, a fine example for our youth.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as Children’s Author Snared in Mix-Up

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States How States Are Testing the Church-State Divide in Public Schools
A new order to teach the Bible in Oklahoma is the latest action to fuel debate over the presence of religion in schools.
7 min read
Image of a bible sitting on top of a school backpack.
Canva
States Lawsuit Challenges Louisiana's New Ten Commandments Law
Opponents argue that the law is a violation of separation of church and state and will isolate students.
3 min read
A copy of the Ten Commandments is posted along with other historical documents in a hallway of the Georgia Capitol, Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Atlanta. Civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit Monday, June 24, challenging Louisiana’s new law that requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom.
A copy of the Ten Commandments is posted along with other historical documents in a hallway of the Georgia Capitol, Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Atlanta. Civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit Monday, June 24, challenging Louisiana’s new law that requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom.
John Bazemore/AP
States The Surprising Contenders for State Superintendent Offices This Year
Two elections for the top education leadership job feature candidates who have never worked in public schools.
8 min read
North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler announces the gathering of a task force to look into future options the state has for the assessment of students during a press conference May 8, 2015, at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D.
North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler announces the gathering of a task force to look into future options for student assessment during a press conference May 8, 2015, in Bismarck, N.D. Baesler, the nation's longest-serving state schools chief, is running for a fourth term, facing opponents with no experience serving in public schools.
Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP
States Does a Ten Commandments Display in Classrooms Violate the Constitution?
Louisiana is poised to become the first state to require all schools to post the Ten Commandments in classrooms.
7 min read
Human hand holding a magnifying glass over open holy bible book of Exodus verses for Ten Commandments, top view
Marinela Malcheva/iStock/Getty