Rewriting history, via Texas textbooks

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The March 18 news story "Historians criticize proposed textbook changes as 'partisan' " began the vital work to expose more than just the tip of the iceberg regarding the proposed changes in the Texas history curriculum.

The historical revisionism proposed by the Texas Board of Education is deeply troubling, but more troubling is the willingness of publishing houses, some of the previously most respected in our nation, to publish a textbook that reflects such an agenda. It is unfortunate that a writer of history texts might be placed in the situation of revising his text to fit Texas requirements, leaving him in the unenviable position of being unable to endorse his own writing.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's comment that it can customize textbooks to fit the demands of the marketplace raises the questions of the reliability of the text itself. But perhaps a warning label might suffice: "Buyer beware, approved by the Texas State Board of Education."

Stephen D. Harris, Waynesboro, Pa.

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