Distorting the Fight for Civil Rights Does a Disservice to Students

Contact: Luis Figueroa, Legislative Staff Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); lfigueroa@maldef.org; Dotty Griffith, Public Education Director, ACLU Foundation of Texas (512) 478-7300 x 106 or 923-1909; dgriffith@aclutx.org

AUSTIN – Revising the state’s social studies curriculum for public schools should not include “a departure from the historical record,” a group of civil rights leaders told the Texas State Board of Education in a letter delivered today.

Download the letter (PDF)

The groups’ request comes as the boardMALDEF movesinto the final stages of deliberation before adoption of new social studies curriculum standards in May. The board meets today at 11 a.m.

The letter warns that some proposed changes would:

  • Minimize efforts by ethnic minorities and women to win equal economic opportunities and political rights NAACP

  • Minimize the impact of the civil rights movement in America

  • Minimize the role of civil rights advocates to achieve passage of the Civil Rights Acts and Equal Rights for Women

The letter concludes: “The powerful history of our country’s long and continuing battle to overcome discrimination and secure the rights, freedom and equality of all is an essential part of America’s history and value system.”

Signing organizations include: American Civil Liberties Union of Texas; American G.I. Forum; Anti-Defamation League; McNeil Educational Foundation; Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); National Alliance of Black School Educators; National Council of Jewish Women Texas State Public Affairs; Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE); Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE); Texas League of United Latin American Citizens H.O.P.E.; Texas Legislative Black Caucus; Texas State Conference of branches of the NAACP; Texas State Teachers Association; UNIDOS of Austin.