TEA told controversial textbook remains flawed

Social advocates and educators came to the state school board meeting Tuesday to continue voicing their opposition to the proposed textbook for Mexican American Heritage classes.

"We can learn from the past, the past is hard sometimes, but you can deal with it in a scholarly respectful and civil way, this text book doesn't meet any of that in fact it wishes to divide us, not unit us,” said South Texas College professor Trinidad Gonzales.

The textbook is for an elective course on Mexican American studies. It was submitted by a company lead by former school board member Cynthia Dunbar. What was supposed to be a public hearing, Tuesday, turned more into a grilling of Dunbar.

"So we've taken hard hits, I know a lot of those hard hits have been directly at me personally, but I promise you I do not have horns and a tail,” Dunbar told the School board.

Dunbar is accused of drafting a racially insensitive and inaccurate textbook. She denies that although she did admit some errors were made and the people hired to write the textbook did take a broad brush approach to the task.

"The book is not racists there is no intention to go after an entire people or group we just simply   want to have a textbook that can be used that’s fully vetted that can teach special topics and social studies,” said Dunbar.

Those who spoke out against the textbook presented the board a 200-page report on the corrections made since it was first submitted. Things like describing Mexican Americans as lazy were taken out. But even with that - for those at the rally, the textbook remains flawed.

"This book fails for a second time, and it fails miserably,” said U.T professor Emilio Zamora.

A final vote on the textbook is not expected to come until Friday but an indication of how that vote will go came earlier in the meeting. The board seemed to reboot the process. It was decided to reissue a request for ethnic studies curriculum.

That request includes topics like Mexican American and African American studies. Dunbar told FOX 7 if her textbook is rejected, she will try again under the new request. Dunbar also wondered if history will eventually repeat itself, she was the only one to respond to the last request.

"If they had done so, and we were having this full debate and we were not the only text book out there perhaps the entire issue would look completely different,” said Dunbar.

Professors with the opposition group promise Tuesday to have a textbook ready in about 2 years.

A preliminary vote on Dunbar's textbook is set for Wednesday. If and when a textbook is adopted by TEA, local school districts will not be required to use it.

Currently several schools in Texas already have their own Mexican American Heritage classes, which by law, they were allowed to set up themselves.