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Texas Board Rejects Controversial Mexican American Studies Textbook

The Texas State Board of Education voted unanimously this week against recommending a Mexican-American studies textbook that was widely criticized for factual inaccuracies and stereotypical representations of Mexicans. 

The board had asked publishers to submit textbooks that the state's high schools could use to develop Mexican-American studies courses two years ago, after Republican lawmakers nixed a plan to create a statewide Mexican-American studies course, the Associated Press reports. But the only book that the board received, Mexican American Heritage, drew intense criticism for its portrayal of Mexicans as lazy and for its overall lack of accuracy and quality.

The Texas Tribune reports that Cynthia Dunbar, the CEO of Momentum Instruction, the textbook's publisher and a conservative former member of the state board, may challenge the board's plan to reject the book. The Tribune reports that while the book was revised to address criticisms, scholars found inaccuracies and areas for concern even in the revised draft. 

The board announced that publishers can submit other ethnic studies texts for review. Those books would be considered in 2018. 

Ethnic studies courses are growing in popularity in high schools across the country, especially in Western states, but most are currently developed at the school or district level. California is on pace to be the first state to create a statewide model for ethnic studies courses.  

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