Liberty Institute Gives Biased Fordham Institute Texas Social Studies Report an “F”

Feb 16, 2011
Topic: SBOE , Update

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

Liberty Institute Gives Fordham Institute’s Social Studies Report an F:
Fordham Institute Fails in Its Inaccurate Attempt to Discredit Texas Educational Standards

AUSTIN, Texas, February 16, 2011 – Today, Liberty Institute announced that the Fordham Institute’s report attempting to discredit Texas’ social studies standards receives an F due to its use of inaccurate and made-up facts as proof. This report was released more than eight months after the Texas State Board of Education took its final vote on this issue in May of 2010, after nearly 18 months of extensive public hearings and deliberations.

“This attack comes from a group funded in part by the liberal Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but I must admit I am still embarrassed for them in their inaccuracies, even with their clear bias,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute. “Texans are not impressed by some education elitist ‘think tank’, with left-wing funding and an agenda, launching bombs from Washington, D.C., aimed at Texas. This attack was baseless, inaccurate, biased, and ineffectual.”

Examples of false statements in the report include the idea that instruction on “Slavery is… largely missing,” when in actuality, slavery and slave are listed numerous times in the standards, and related terms “Emancipation Proclamation” and “abolitionist movement” are required teaching in every grade starting with 3rd grade. Countless important figures related to this are also required for study. The report even criticizes Texas for discussing the religious history of our early American colonies.

Also contributing to the report’s failing grade is the Fordham Institute’s attempt to pass off the report as educationally unbiased and the media’s misrepresentation of the Fordham Institute as a conservative organization. The Fordham Institute receives funding from the Gates Foundation, well-known as a liberal group which is advocating heavily for national education standards, which is an Obama administration priority that is widely rejected in Texas by both Gov. Perry and the thousands of Texan parents, educators, and concerned citizens who spoke out in favor of the newly-adopted social studies standards.

“The most obvious problem with this report is that it is full of dramatic overstatements, trivial details, and flat-out lies about the content of Texas’ social studies standards,” said Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs for Liberty Institute. “This is just another Washington voice, Johnny-come-lately trying to punish Texas for rejecting Obama’s attempted takeover of state curriculum standards. Texas will not be bullied by a biased report that gets our history standards wrong. A piece of friendly advice to Washington elites and other late-comers on this issue: read the standards!”

Liberty Institute participated in every Texas State Board of Education hearing on this issue. Full information about what is in the standards is online at www.JustStateTheFacts.com, and a list of examples from the Fordham Institute’s study are debunked in a document linked here.

Click here to see an important video about Texas Social Studies and the important of an elected State Board of Education in Texas.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPMTL0fYabM&feature=player_embedded]

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