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The Brief: Mexican-American studies textbook rejected in early vote

The preliminary vote has to be affirmed during a second meeting Friday, where it's likely the book will fall short.

State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, speaks during a press conference at the Texas Education Agency on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 regarding a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that educators and activists are calling racist. The advocacy group, Texas Freedom Network, along with educators, and activists are asking the State Board of Education to reject the Mexican American heritage textbook.

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The Big Story

On Wednesday, the State Board of Education voted 14-0 to deny the adoption of a Mexican-American studies textbook that opponents deemed racist and inaccurate. Here's the story so far

•  The textbook, titled "Mexican American Heritage," was the only submission the board received after putting out a call in 2015 for textbooks for high school social studies classes, including Mexican-American studies. The board unanimously voted Tuesday morning to accept more bids for ethnic studies textbooks for 2018, which could include Mexican-American studies.

•  On TuesdayHispanic activists, scholars and state officials gathered in the lobby of the Texas Education Agency to protest the controversial textbook. Among their concerns was that the textbook would perpetuate the “hatred” against Hispanics stirred up after the recent presidential election of Donald Trump.

•  A committee of professors and high school teachers pinpointed more than 140 factual, “interpretive,” and “omission” errors in the book. University of Texas at Austin professor Emilio Zamora, who was part of that committee, said Wednesday that he is working with a co-author to negotiate a contract with a publisher on a Texas Mexican-American studies textbook. While the textbook meets all requirements of the Texas Board of Education’s bid for textbooks, board members who oppose the book said the factual errors are unacceptable.

•  The board will take a final vote Friday; however, the board's 14-0 vote on Wednesday has opponents of the book confident. “The unanimous vote by the board today is an amazing victory for everyone who showed how inaccurate the book was,” Zamora said. 

What We're Reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

For white nationalists, Trump win a dream come true, says alt-right leader from Dallas, The Dallas Morning News

Will massive shale play herald a new West Texas oil boom?, Austin American-Statesman 

Uber, Houston come to agreement, for now, Houston Chronicle

In San Antonio, defense secretary says Trump team hasn’t yet visited Pentagon, San Antonio Express-News

Adler: Anti-racism task force will focus on barriers, not individualsAustin American-Statesman 

Today in TribTalk

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•   A Symposium Previewing the 85th Legislature on Nov. 29 at The University of Texas - Texas Union Ballroom

•   A Conversation with Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University on Dec. 1 at The Austin Club

•   San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

•   A Conversation with Sen.-elect Dawn Buckingham & Rep.-elect Hugh Shine on Dec. 8 at Temple College – Arnold Student Union

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