A Texas lawmaker has launched an investigation into the books Texas school districts have on their shelves.
The 16-page list of 850 book titles was sent to the Texas Education Agency along with Texas Schools. In a letter, State Representative Matt Krause asked districts if these books were on their shelves.
Krause’s letter states that he is “beginning an investigation of the contents of the Texas school district” as preliminary information for the investigation.
Dr Roslyn Schoen, assistant professor of sociology at Texas A&M-Central Texas, said a process is already in place to review educational materials in schools.
Politicians are not trained to develop curricula or evaluate curricula.
– Dr Roslyn Schoen
“Even at the senior level, at the university level, we talk all the time about how it’s the teachers and educators who are the experts on what these titles are, what they should be and how the titles are. students should engage with them, ”Schoen said. .
Because that’s what educators are trained to do, they are trained to understand this, they are trained to develop a program. Politicians are not trained to develop a program or to evaluate a program. ”
Dr. Tam Jones, a former superintendent, walks us through the established process for reviewing the course material.
“Districts try to provide a wide variety of documents… sometimes something happens that bothers someone and feels like it needs to be looked at closely, I guess you can say contested,” the Dr Jones.
Dr Jones said parents have fingertip access to criteria for selecting books in schools and instructions on how they can create a formal or informal challenge to any books they dispute.
“The manager sits down informally, or the librarian, and they go through the material selection process,” Dr Jones said. “They talk about the criteria … and the qualifications of the people who selected the material.”
Parents can find more information about difficult instructions on their school district’s website: by searching for board policy, clicking on “Instruction,” then “Educational Resources.”
From there, parents can access legal (or state) information about the process for selecting educational materials, as well as the local process for that district. While the process of researching these policies online may vary, Dr Jones said schools should be able to provide or present them to all residents in the district.
“There may be an alternative to a particular book that will cover the same content, but maybe it leaves out the part that a person is upset with,” Dr. Jones said.
For now, Schoen said the investigation could have a chilling effect on educators and prompt the preventative removal of some of these titles from school shelves.
“What strikes me about this list is how extensive it is and how it really is a catch-all for anything that might bother someone, so race issues, but also books. on history, books on the body, books on puberty, as well as books on sexuality, ”said Schoen.