American history textbooks are shaped by partisan politics — and then shape the next generation of voters. See how California and Texas students encounter different histories of the Second Amendment, civil rights, capitalism, immigration and more.
We analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas. Here’s how political divides shape what students learn about the nation’s history.
Conservatives have fought for schools to promote patriotism, highlight the influence of Christianity and celebrate the founding fathers. In a
“At the end of the day, it’s a political process,” said Jesús F. de la Teja, an emeritus professor of history at Texas State University who has worked for the state of Texas and for publishers in reviewing standards and textbooks.
A California panel asked the publisher McGraw-Hill to avoid the use of the word “massacre” when describing 19th-century Native American attacks on white people. A Texas panel asked Pearson to point out the number of clergy who signed the Declaration of Independence, and to state that the nation’s founders were inspired by the Protestant Great Awakening.
Pearson, the publisher whose Texas textbook raises questions about the quality of Harlem Renaissance literature, said such language “adds more depth and nuance.”
, in 2010, between conservative and liberal members of the Texas Board of Education over whether state standards should mention cultural movements like hip-hop and country music. Their compromise was to ask teachers and textbook publishers to address “both the positive and negative impacts” of artistic movements.
Publishers customize the books for states and large districts to meet local standards, often without input from the original authors.
Here is how the politics of American history play out in California and Texas textbooks, on subjects like race, immigration, gender, sexuality and the economy.
McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Continuity and Change,” California, P. 505
McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 436
California and Texas textbooks sometimes offer different explanations for white backlash to black advancement after the Civil War, from Reconstruction to housing discrimination in the 20th century.
Texas says that white Southerners opposed Reconstruction because of tax increases as well as racial resentment. California instead includes primary-source quotations from black historical figures about white resistance to civil rights.
HMH, “American History: Reconstruction to the Present,” California, P. 245; HMH, “The Americans: United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 288
“The textbook companies are not gearing their textbooks toward teachers; they’re gearing their textbooks toward states,” she said.
McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 624
McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 111
In Texas textbooks, mentions of L.G.B.T.Q. issues tend to be restricted to coverage of events in recent decades, such as the Stonewall uprising, the AIDS crisis and debates over marriage rights.
McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 449; McGraw-Hill, “United States History to 1877,” Texas, P. 443
California states that Alfred Kinsey’s research and early sex reassignment surgeries challenged “the postwar ideal” on gender.
McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Continuity and Change,” California, P. 627; McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 525.
. The students read accounts of those soldiers’ lives alongside more traditional sources, such as letters written by a black Union soldier and a Confederate soldier.
Michael Teague, a Border Patrol agent, is featured in the Texas edition of McGraw-Hill’s 11th grade textbook. He discusses his concerns about drug trafficking and says, “if you open the border wide up, you’re going to invite political and social upheaval.”
In a written statement, McGraw-Hill said the full-page Border Patrol narrative was not included in the California edition because it would not fit beside the literary excerpt. And at the time the Texas edition was produced, six years ago, state standards called for students to analyze both “legal and illegal immigration to the United States.”
McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 416; McGraw-Hill,"United States History Since 1877," Texas, P. 417
These additions are part of the reason California books are almost always longer than their Texas counterparts.
HMH, “American History: Reconstruction to the Present,” California, P. 160
HMH, “The Americans: United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 235
Texas policymakers feel strongly about giving students a positive view of the American economy; since 1995,
California’s curriculum materials, by contrast, sometimes read like a brief from a Bernie Sanders rally. “The yawning gap between the haves and have-nots and what is to be done about it is one of the great questions of this time,” says the state’s 2016 social studies framework.
Pearson, “United States History: The Twentieth Century,” California, P. 728; Pearson, “United States History: 1877 to Present,” Texas, P. 687.
Both the California and Texas 11th-grade textbooks from Pearson state, “The main argument against environmental legislation is that it hurts the economy and the nation’s industries.”
was a fixation for conservatives in 2011, when the company went bankrupt after accepting half a billion dollars in federally guaranteed loans.
Pearson said in a written statement that the differences between the books could be attributed mostly to the fact that the California book was published several years later, and that concerns over coastal flooding have become “more heightened in recent years.”Read more: The New York Times
Honestly, I'm surprised the differences aren't more pronounced. These are probably written by historians and they do not all agree on everything. Maybe there should be multiple views on several topics to let kids compare. I would rather there be different accounts than to have one political view control the history of our world.
FYI: 'Two-Spirit' wasn't actually a term until AFTER 1990. California needs to stop using terms from the 1990's and passing them off as part of historical context. Plus, 'non-binary' wasn't first used until the 1980's. This my friends is disingenuous. It's called indoctrination. Worth a spin we all have the same textbooks in each state, Only state history that is taught in the states the kids live in, No different histories on the 2nd amendment or civil rights, My kids went to school in many states nothing changed
chrisdiazmusic they screwed you over and lied to you in HS. if one person says its raining and another says it's not raining it's not your job to give both equal time, it's not your job to give everybody a platform. It's your job to freaking look outside and see if it's raining. (not my quote, wish I had the source).
WTH!! FckTxs It’s no wonder California is so messed up. I’m nervous for the future of USA w the likes of the far left gaining control and reshaping history lessons for our young to fit their agenda.
Tornado, hail and severe thunderstorm warnings in effect for Texas, Kansas and other southern statesThe primary threats include isolated very large hail, isolated damaging wind gusts and tornadoes from today through the weekend Is Kansas a southern state now? Since when is Kansas a 'southern state'?
And you wonder where it starts?!? (no we don't). I use to believe in national oversite of our education system, no more. Take it back to the state and let’s not forget the harm done to our country by the leftist indocumation of our schools.- socialism, communism... Cali:America’s horrible. Tex: America’s great but has flaws.
I collect and read HISTORY books from BEFORE the internet, MOST before WW2. Some as old as 1889. They show a different, & I believe more accurate, at least closer to the times, picture of our history. We are not alone. It’s everywhere. I hope someone is saving printed versions of history In the world of social studies textbooks there is only two states that determine content...Texas and California...all the other states end up on the receiving end of what those two states want. History is a narrative, a story told by men, loosely based on facts...
Are you going to show the side bu side co.oarisona of all the news articles you originally wrote vs the ones you had to retract or stealth edit? Alex Jones warned about revisionist history back in 2010. You all mocked him People are just Is realizing this? Gawd help us! 1984 is literally about a guy who works at the New York Times changing history
Weren't the States of America United?
Democratic Lawmakers Try to Boost Asian-American Vote in Battleground States in 2020A half-dozen Democratic lawmakers plan to travel to battleground states with growing Asian-American and Pacific Islander populations in hopes of boosting the turnout of the Democratic-leaning bloc in November. Democrats are going to lose Election2020 realDonaldTrump IvankaTrump SpeakerPelosi Swatipedia TheDemocrats GOP TheWhiteHouse IranWar USAvsIRAN IranvsUsa IranAttacks AllIsWell NoWarWithIran War 2020?... Asians are mostly conservative. Why do the Democrats always try to separate everyone into an ethnic class. We are all Americans.
Tôi đã phá bỏ tất cả. Chúng tôi sẽ có chiều dài khoảng thời gian dài và hẹp và dễ thương để treo cổ các bạn. The Texas textbooks are the correct ones Proven Facts not Hollywood fantasy. Quốc gia bạn sẽ không còn Tổng thống nữa nhé. It is disgusting the difference. Texas is correct and California is nothing more than propaganda.
I love chapter 10. St Anthony. Brainwashing. “The way WE teach history is objective and the way THEY teach history is partisan!” - People With Zero Self-Awareness 2copy que paso?falta la pastilla tripleDDD .......
The States That Residents Are Leaving And The Ones They Are Moving ToA new study by Atlas Van Lines that tracked various migration patterns throughout the country found that more Americans are moving to Idaho than any other state. I don’t believe this... I think they forgot Nevada. NO! No.
From Utah to Florida, States Boost Spending on New RoadsBuoyed by a recovering economy and increases in their revenue, states are pumping more money into transportation projects. Do you want lies with that? 8 years of OBama printing trillions for Wall Street and the RICHEST...didn't fix roads? PuttingAmericaToWorkAgain 🇺🇸 ❗️🏆
Sanders and Biden Look for Dominance in Early StatesBernie Sanders and Joe Biden are mounting a late push in early primary and caucus states, aiming to avert a monthslong delegate battle against Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg — and each other Key: which one will benefit down ballot candidates? Biden. Sneaky Pete likes to cone from behind. So watch him closely. Time for corporate stooge JoeBiden to retire and live on the proceeds of his son's nepotism.
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