Mexican-American Studies Course Rejected by Texas Education Board
Several members on the Texas State Board of Education recently pushed to institute a required Mexican-American studies class in all Texas public high schools. Supporters of the proposal argued that such a course would give students a more well-rounded perspective of Texas culture and people. During a meeting on April 9, however, the board's 10 Republicans and five Democrats ultimately rejected the idea by bypassing the vote.
A spokeswoman from the Texas Education Agency told Breitbart Texas that many high schools in the state already offer Mexican-American studies courses.
"Districts already have the ability to offer such a course," the spokeswoman said. "Some have already done so."
Board member Ruben Cortez, D-Brownsville, had initially been a strong proponent of the proposed mandate. He said that although a standardized course was rejected, he is still satisfied because the board also voted to ask publishers to submit textbooks on the subject for the 2016-2017 school year.
"The biggest difficulty for school districts is not developing a course, it’s obtaining the appropriate instructional materials," he told the Associated Press.
Many critics of a required Mexican-American Studies course claim it is an attempt by progressives to indoctrinate students.
"Texas schools should not be used as a political tool," Mark C. Brown, Chairman Emeritus of the Texas Young Republicans Federation, told Breitbart Texas. He said the new course would serve as a means "to divide people up into racial categories and indoctrinate a new generation in class warfare and grievance mongering."
Rather than highlighting differences between racial groups, Brown said public schools should focus on unity.
He said, "Our schools should celebrate how Texas today has become a melting pot of people from all cultures seeking freedom and the opportunity to better their lives."
David Bradley, a Republican board member from Beaumont shares the sentiment and told Fox News, "We're all Americans. To suggest otherwise is to further segregate and divide the community. I'm sorry if I disappoint some folks, but it's almost reverse racism."
The discussions reflect the growing polarization of views regarding partisan agendas in the classroom.
Breitbart Texas' Merrill Hope has reported extensively on the left's attempt to force progressive ideology into the state's public education. In March Hope revealed that TAMSA (Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment), a self-proclaimed "non-partisan" organization, was exposed for having a very liberal educational agenda in Texas.
Hope wrote that the group "supported a variety of Democratic and progressive causes in Texas. Among the cash recipients were Battleground Texas, Wendy Davis, and Ratliff, a paid Microsoft lobbyist."
Many surmise that a standardized Mexican-American studies course in Texas would have only peddled a similar narrative.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate