Wednesday, November 14, 2007

School board member wants curriculum to include more Hispanics

An on-going battle in Texas and the nation--the school curriculum which can either empower or disempower, affirm or oppress. Because of the nature of race relations, there is no neutrality, no innocence. -Dra. Valenzuela

Nov. 12, 2007, 9:06PM
School board member wants curriculum to include more Hispanics

© 2007 The Associated Press

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Texas State Board of Education member said Monday that upcoming revisions to the state's core public school curriculum must include lessons on historical contributions made by Hispanics, women and American Indians.

When the curriculum, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, was last revised in 1997, board member Mary Helen Berlanga said she was told that significant contributions made by Hispanics would be included in textbooks used by the schools. But 10 years later, the history segment that Texas fourth graders and 11th graders study doesn't mention Hispanics, she said.

"Each subject area has its own TEKS and contributions by Hispanics, women, Native Americans and other minorities must be included for the TEKS to be accurate," Berlanga said in a story for Tuesday's editions of The Brownsville Herald. "We're trying to prevent what happened in the past from happening again."

Julio Noboa, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, said the history of numerous important Hispanics are omitted from textbooks used by Texas students. His examples included United Farmworkers of America founder Cesar Chavez, Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project leader William C. Velasquez and former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, now president of the television network Univision.

"Not once is any Latino mentioned by name," Noboa said. "Not Latino, not Hispanic, not Mexican, not Mexican-American or any other term referring to Hispanics."


jorge_as said...

La idea de incluir personajes de origen latino o nativos americanos es myuy buena en especial de los segundos que son la raza originaria de US, no hay que hacer lado las constribuciones de personajes de origen latino o nativos americanos solo por su raza.

jose antonio said...

es un proposito acertado el querer incluir a los latinos en los lobros de historia ya que los estudiantes podràn formar una identidad y caracter quer los identifique con su comunidad(latinos) y eso contribuira a hacer de ellos personas conscientes de quioenes son y luego les resultara mas facil unirse cuando necesiten defender sus derechos

Manuel said...

To understand our present and avoid mistakes we have done, we need to know our past, the whole past we had. Considering this, I think schools should teach history as it was, not only as a 'selection' of historical facts or persons. Omission of Hispanics in textbooks not only imply misunderstanding of past, in my opinion it reveals discrimination against Hispanics... (That's really annoying!) Those omissions means that Hispanics doesn't even deserve appearing in textbooks, they are different, not equal: they are not Americans. It seems that U.S. history is written just by Americans, 'pure Americans'...
Is good, is fair to include Hispanics contributions and people in history textbooks. As Jose Antonio said, Texas students should know Hispanic past and contributions to create an identity, to know who they were.