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Professor says it's past time for a scholarly textbook history of Texas

Historians in the News
tags: Texas, textbooks



Cynthia Orozco is a professor of history and humanities at Eastern New Mexico University and a Texas State Historical Association fellow.

Op Ed excerpted from the Austin American-Statesman:

... Around 1968, Chicano studies began to take root in Texas colleges. Too little progress had been made. The Texas State Historical Association, a private association and history advocate, had included only three Mexican-descent women as relevant to the history of Texas in its 1976 edition of the Handbook of Texas encyclopedia. Since then, the book has added scores of Latinos relevant to Texas. There is even a Tejano Handbook of Texas.

In 2016, several writers authored a Mexican-American studies textbook — but they were not scholars and included inaccuracies and racist references to Mexicans as “lazy.” Imagine 140 errors in one textbook. In 2018, another textbook was rejected.

Mexican-American Studies Texas and the Texas chapter of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies have played a major role in advancing the call for classes and curriculum. Chicano teachers and scholars have prepared accurate standards for high school classroom teaching. Curriculum is available, and time for a scholar to write a better textbook is needed. The will from the Texas State Board of Education, an elected board, to approve a high school class in Mexican-American studies is needed.

Fifty years have passed since the 1968 U.S. civil rights hearing. Texas now has significant information about its Mexican-descent people — but the knowledge needs to seep down to the masses. It is high noon— time that this information be shared with schoolchildren. The Texas State Board of Education must approve Mexican-American studies for Texas schools. Latinos are already 52 percent of the state’s student population. We cannot wait another 50 years.


Read entire article at Austin American-Statesman

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