Civil Rights Groups File Complaint Over Texas Standards

By Erik W. Robelen — December 21, 2010 1 min read
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The debate over social studies standards in Texas isn’t quite over, it seems. Several months after the state board of education adopted a new set of standards, two civil rights organizations have filed a joint complaint with the U.S. Department of Education claiming that the standards are both historically inaccurate and discriminatory. Here’s the AP story plus another from the Houston Chronicle.

The complaint—submitted by the Texas NAACP and the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens—asks the department’s office for civil rights to review the state’s new social studies standards and to take legal action if Texas tries to implement elements that are “racially or ethnically offensive,” according to the Chronicle.

The story notes that the complaint also asks federal officials to investigate a general “miseducation” of minority students in Texas, in addition to “disparate discipline for minority students,” the use of school accountability standards to impose sanctions against schools with high populations of minority students, and the under-representation of Latinos and African-Americans in gifted and talented programs.

David Bradley, a Republican on the state board, told the Chronicle that the new standards “significantly increased the inclusion of minorities that were, indeed, patriots in American and Texas history.”

He added: “These activists are never satisfied, and their whining to the federal government is silly and without merit.”

But Gary Blesoe, the president of the Texas NAACP, sees things differently.

“This is like in your face, like showing the ultimate in disrespect,” he told the Associated Press. “To suggest the positive aspects of slavery or to exalt Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy is just an abomination. I mean no disrespect to people who may have had ancestors who were part of that, but it is what it is.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.