Oh This World
Oh This World
Jun 10, 2020
Ep. #28: In the Middle of a Global Pandemic Is It Necessary For Me To Also Care About The Texas State Board of Education? (Sadly, Yes).
Play episode · 51 min

Today Lucas leads a wide-ranging discussion about how the Texas State Board of Education wields significant influence over how history is taught both in Texas and across the country, why it matters, and what we can do about it.

First, Antoinette has a follow-up to recent conversations about defunding the police, and Lucas explains why he'll no longer be eating at Kerbey Lane (and encourages listeners to do to the same).

In the first half of their conversation, Lucas and Antoinette explore two separate but related issues: how our schools are still largely segregated and how what U.S. students learn about race and racism in American history classes is often sorely lacking. Aiding our conversation is this must-read 1619 Project essay by Nikita Stewart on how slavery is taught in American schools (hint: not well).

Next we turn to how the Texas State Board of Education shapes what students learn in history class, and why that has consequences not only for Texas students but for students across the country. Another must-read: historian Jonna Perillo's Washington Post story on how the Texas SBOE "exposes how poorly we teach history."

What can we do about all this?

1. Learn more about how students are taught U.S. history now. In addition to Nikita Stewart's article, we recommend James W. Loewen's classic Lies My Teacher Told Me, which analyzes a dozen textbooks used in U.S. history classrooms. 

2. Find out who has the power to shape curriculum in your community, and where to speak out if you don't like how they're doing it. You can find information here on how each state chooses its history textbooks.

3. Get involved in the 2020 races for the Texas State Board of Education. Learn more about Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau in District 5, and also her possible GOP opponent, a jester-hat wearing man with a history of "sexist, racist tweets and conspiracy-laden rants."

Also, check out the 21-Day Racial Equity Building Challenge that Antoinette mentioned in this episode here.
This episode was recorded on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

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