by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D. • Knowledge is Power • September 26, 2023 •
The Texas State Board of Education met recently to discuss new legislation, including implementation of Texas’ new “High-Quality Instructional Materials” bill, or House Bill 1605. The bill creates a state-approved instructional materials list for schools with special funding for procurement. The state board’s task now is to develop rubrics to assess the quality and suitability of new instructional materials for board approval across subjects and grade levels.
Unfortunately, the bill contains provisions that would enforce classroom censorship in the approved materials lists. This became the subject of debate among the board, as members discussed including a prohibition against the censored concepts in the rubric criteria.
Censoring honest and accurate content about race, gender, oppression, history and current events in school instructional materials contradicts the notion of “high-quality” and rejects pleas from students, educators and community members for quality, inclusive materials. The state board will continue to finalize rubric criteria at its November meeting later this year.
Read more about the need for affirming, inclusive and comprehensive instructional materials through IDRA’s testimony to the State Board of Education.
[© 2023, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the September 26, 2023, edition of Knowledge is Power by IDRA. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]