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Committee Cites More Than 140 Errors In Proposed Mexican-American Studies Textbook

Marjorie Kamys Cotera
The Texas Tribune
Dr. Christopher Carmona, chair of the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies-Tejas Foco's Committee on Pre K-12 Edu. in Texas Schools speaks during a press conference on the textbook in July.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A local artist is using 1,000 pounds of butter for a cow sculpture commissioned by the State Fair; Dallas Police Chief David Brown makes a cameo in a Black Eyed Peas video; despite the economic boom, North Texans are burdened by debt; and more.

An ad hoc committee of Texas college and high school educators created a 54-page reportciting more than 140 inaccuracies in the proposed textbook, "Mexican American Heritage.” State Board member Ruben Cortez Jr., D-Brownsville convened the committee and made the announcement of the report during a news conference in Brownsville on Tuesday.

Within the 500 pages of the text, Texas high schoolers would read that “the Aztecs waged war because of 'bloodlust,' 19th-century Mexican industrial laborers often drank on the job and slavery was in swift decline just before the Civil War” among other concerning content, The Texas Tribune reports.


Written by Jaime Riddle and Valarie Angle, "Mexican American Heritage" was the only submission the board received after it issued a call for textbooks in 2015, according to Texas Observer. Activists had hoped that a state-approved textbook would allow the class to be offered in more schools, The Tribune reports. You can download a copy of the book from the state agency under “Social Studies.”


At the news conference, students and educators asked the State Board of Education toreject the controversial textbook they say is "dripping with racism and intolerance," according to The Tribune.A public hearing over the proposed textbook is set for next Tuesday in Austin, and members of the committee will present their report then. [The Texas Tribune, Texas Observer]


  • Dallas artist Ken Robison was commissioned by the State Fair of Texas to sculpt a replica of last year’s Grand Champion Steer RFD. And, he’s using butter as his medium — something he’s never made art from before, he tells KRLD. He’s been working on his sculpture for two hours stints over the past four weeks inside a 30-degree freezer. He’s not only making the RLD replica, but throwing in several buttery penguins, too. In all, he’s using 1,000 pounds of the good stuff. Robison’s sculpture will be displayed throughout the duration of the fair at the Creative Arts Building. [KRLD]

  • After the campus carry protest at UT Austin, a Frisco man filmed a video depicting a student getting shot and killed. On the first day of school, some UT students carried dildos around the University of Texas campus protesting the new campus carry policy. A week later, Brett Sanders, a “notable first and second amendment activist, Bitcoin advocate and investigative journalist,” produced a video where a young actress portrays a student returning to her apartment from the protest and getting shot in the head by a robber who breaks down her door. Ana Lopez, a UT sophomore who helped organize the protest, said the student murdered in the video is meant to depict her and that she feels threatened by it, The Dallas Morning News reports. [The Dallas Morning News]

  • Despite the state’s economic health, North Texas are burdened by debt. In a new installment of One Crisis Away, KERA’s series “Drowning In Debt” looks at the many ways debt can plague a household. In the first chapter, you’ll meet April Ford, a single mother of two from North Richland Hills. For years, Ford worked frantically to keep a grip on growing debt. She finally decided she was out of options — and filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2011. “Even through it all, I still have more than some people,” she says. “So, you know, I just kinda suck it up, cause what else can I do?” If all goes well, Ford and her family will be finish their bankruptcy case by May of next year. [One Crisis Away]

  • Dallas Police Chief David Brown has a cameo in a new Black Eyed Peas video. You heard that correctly — the Black Eyed Peas are putting out new music, sort of. The group remixed their 2003 hit "Where Is the Love?" with the help of Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day and several more pop figures. In a promotional video for the new track, titled #wheresthelove, one person that stands out (to North Texans, anyway) is David Brown. The police chief gained national attention after a lone gunman killed five officers during an ambush in downtown Dallas on July 7. Sales from the new version of the track will go to the foundation, a nonprofit founded by Black Eyed Peas member, [Rolling Stone]