Mexican American Legislative Caucus: Public Not Welcome at Social Studies Hearing

Apr 28, 2010
Topic: SBOE , Update

The level of hypocrisy could not be any higher. Click here to see the full video of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) hearing on the Texas social studies issue.  If you fast forward to the last minute of the video, you can see the dispute and confrontation take place reagrding MALC’s denial of my testimony. 

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus denied me and the public from testifying at their hearing today on social studies.  I was originally told by MALC staff or Rep. Martinez Fischer staff, that I would be allowed to testify at their “invitation only” hearing of their cherry-picked members of advocacy groups and select academia.  I saw no one listed on the invited list that showed balance.  Then as the “invited testimony” ended, Chairman Martinez Fischer adjourned the meeting and acted as if he didn’t know I was on the list. 

Houston Chronicle blog covers this controversy:  http://blogs.chron.com/texaspolitics/archives/2010/04/snub_irks_sboe.html

 I confronted Chairman Martinez Fischer and he apologized about this and claimed to be unaware that I was told I could testify. 

Earlier on, I was first told I  would not be allowed to testify because I was not on the invited list.  I expressed my concern about this.

I was then told by Marty, a staff member for the MALC, shortly thereafter, that I would be allowed to testify.  I was then asked by Marty,  to fill out a witness form and even give him a print out of my biography, which I did.  Marty told me I would be allowed to testify.  So, after I waited in the hearing room all day, I was banned, at the end, from testifying.  I questioned Marty about this and he gave me no response.

Statement:

“After listening to legislators at this one-sided hearing accuse the Board of not allowing some people to testify at a past hearings, the MALC themselves showed their hypocrisy by banning public comment at their hearing with cherry-picked members of left-wing advocacy groups and academia”, said Jonathan Saenz, Director of Legislative Affairs, Liberty Institute. 

“It’s obvious this hearing was just another example of the political game being played by the liberal left with our education,” said Saenz.

Full release below.

Mexican American Legislative Caucus: Public Not Welcome

Austin, Texas-Today, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus held a special hearing regarding Texas social studies standards approved in March 2010.  MALC did not allow for public testimony.

“Liberty Institute applauds the State Board of Education (SBOE) for their abundance of inclusion  and dedication to the students of Texas, which includes five public hearings and over a year,” said Jonathan Saenz, Director of Legislative Affairs, Liberty Institute.

“For a hearing concerned about diversity, it’s a shame that the public was shut out of this hearing”, said Saenz. 

“We are concerned that a small vocal minority, including the ACLU, is now pressuring the SBOE to throw out these standards and begin the process anew to push a political agenda and likely send the standards back to an unelected review panel to make changes. The public deserves to know that it was an unelected review panel, and not SBOE members, who removed Christmas, Albert Einstein and others from the standards, when this process began in 2009.  The public also should know that it was a Texas professor, invited to this hearing, Jesus F. de la Teja, who proposed removing Alexander Graham Bell and Neil Armstrong completely and Columbus partially, from the social studies standards, while asking for the National Organization of Women (NOW) to be added.  This is surely not the common sense direction to go for the education of our children.  Thankfully, the SBOE has corrected these missteps“, said Saenz. 

To help clear up public misrepresentations about the social studies standards, Liberty Institute has compiled a condensed list of approved social studies standards for study.  Among those:

  • Historical Figures:  Neil Armstrong, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Columbus (voted back into standards, previously removed by unelected review committees (Columbus/Edison-partial).
  • Tejano leaders:  Juan N. Seguin, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Jose Antonio Navarro, others.
  • Important Concepts:   “American Exceptionalism”   
  • Contributions of Founding Fathers: John Hancock, John Jay, John Witherspoon, others
  • Thomas Jefferson: contribution of his political philosophy (he’s covered in four different sections)
  • Religious Heritage:  impact of religion and Judeo-Christian legal tradition on America.
  • Religious Diversity: Student will learn about Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judiasm, and Confucianism.
  • Landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases: Brown v. Bd of Education, Sweat v. Painter, Hernandez v. Texas, Roe v. Wade, Tinker v. Des Moines, Miranda v. Arizona.
  • Cultural Leaders: Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, James A. Baker III, Hillary Clinton, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sam Walton, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E. B. Dubois, Irma Rangel, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Estee Lauder, Harriet Tubman, Todd Beamer, Mary Kay Ash, Roy Benavidez, John “Danny” Olivas, Henry B. Gonzalez, Jonas Salk, Hector P. Garcia, Carmen Loma Garza, Vernon J. Baker, Michael Dell, George Washington Carver, Michael DeBakey… Groups: LULAC, Black Panthers, NAACP, NRA, Moral Majority, Heritage Foundation.
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