Formal Response to Written Testimony
Before the State Board of Education Textbook Hearing #2, August 23, 2002
Richard S. Collins
Meg McKain Grier
Dr. Ricky Dobbs
Robert Bohmf alk
Celebrating Texas Creating America
World Cultures and Geography
Formal Response to Written Testimony
Before the State Board of Education Textbook Hearing #2, August 23,2002
McDougal Littell appreciates the opportunity to respond to written comments specific to our textbooks submitted at the August 23,2002, hearing before the State Board of Education. For some speakers, the written comments were nearly identical to the oral testimony presented. In those instances, our response to the written comments is the same as for the oral testimony, and is included herein. The responses that follow include a capsule summary of each comment made and McDougal Littell's response.
Written comments on The Americans by Richard S. Collins
1. Mr. Collins describes The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century as a "somewhat misleading" title because the text includes a review unit.
Response: Mr. Collins is correct in inferring that the inclusion of the review unit establishes context for 20th-century history. The first four chapters also provide a succinct review of the material students in Texas will be expected to know in order to succeed on end-of-level assessments.
2. Mr. Collins points out that on page 232 of the student text the sentence "In this age of rapid change and innovation, even the successful Bessemer process was bettered by the 1860." should be changed to read "... was bettered by the 1860s."
Response: This correction was already included in the Publisher's List of Editorial Corrections submitted to the TEA.
3. Mr. Collins suggests that the graphic of New York City, 1910, on page 263 of the student text might be misleading because it "shows large concentrations of Russians living in certain areas of Manhattan, the Rockaways, and Flushing Meadows." His recollection is that these areas were "largely Jewish," and he points out the value of adding that information to the graphic.
Response: The purpose of the graphic is to show the country of origin of immigrants who settled in New York City around 1910. There are no factual errors in the graphic.
Written comments on Celebrating Texas by Meg McKain Grier
In her testimony before the Board, Meg McKain Grier said that in Celebrating Texas, "Barbara Jordan was credited as the first woman to give a keynote address in the major political convention in 1976. In fact, it was Anne Armstrong at the Republican Convention in 1972."
Although Ms. Grier is correct when she says that Anne Armstrong was the first woman to give the keynote address at a major political convention, she misinterprets what Celebrating Texas says about Barbara Jordan. In a section about Jordan and her accomplishments, the text indicates that she was the first woman ever to give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, which is correct. Armstrong's keynote speech was at the Republican National Convention. As the section is about Jordan and is also factually accurate in every way, inserting a reference to Armstrong here is not necessary or appropriate.
Written comments on The Americans by Dr. Ricky Dobbs
1. Dr. Dobbs states that the treatment of the 19th century Populist Party is "sprinkled across roughly seventy pages."
Response: This statement does not allege a factual error in the text but points to a pedagogical difference. For pedagogical reasons, The Americans begins its treatment of populism and the Populist Party with an entire section devoted to describing the movement in a simple and clear way. Later, we add depth and make connections to other topics that Dr. Dobbs mentions. While we can see some advantages to treating the subject in other ways, such as that suggested by Dr. Dobbs, we believe the sequence used in The Americans is best for instruction at the high school level.
2. Dr. Dobbs states that the text (in the final paragraph on page 223) conflates "two different impulses for change into a single constant force of progress in American history, while at the same time whitewashing the Progressive effort to eradicate Populism after 1896."
Response: The paragraph cited on page 223 is meant to provide rhetorical and pedagogical closure to the section "Farmers and the Populist Movement," the final section of Chapter 5. As such, it should not be expected to provide a detailed comparison of Populism and Progressivism, especially since Progressivism has not been introduced at this point in the narrative. The text accurately describes two aspects of the legacy of Populism. We believe that the amount of information is appropriate for a high school text; space constraints as
well as these pedagogical concerns preclude adding more information about this point.
3. Dr. Dobbs states that the text celebrates the commission system of municipal government but fails to take into account the antidemocratic designs of its Progressive advocates.
Response: The Americans describes the commission system in the last two paragraphs on page 309. In the preceding paragraph, which sets the stage and describes generally the movement to reform local government, three incentives for this reform movement are noted. The third, "distrust of immigrants' participation in politics," clearly states an antidemocratic motive. Although more could be said, the text is accurate as it stands.
4. Dr. Dobbs criticizes the text for what he considers to be its heroification of Charles Lindbergh on page 552.
Response: (content change) As previously noted in McDougal Littell's response to written testimony provided by TPPF for the July meeting of the State Board of Education, we will revise the student edition text to read: "The aviator Charles Lindbergh stated his hope that 'the future of America ... not be tied to these eternal wars in Europe.'" In the teacher's edition text, we will change the question "How did Charles Lindbergh risk his reputation?" to "In what way did Lindbergh believe democracy would be saved?"
5. Dr. Dobbs questions the text's assertion (on page 584) that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets.
Response: In speeches to the nation and in his personal diary, Truman emphasized that the first bomb would be dropped on Hiroshima, "a purely military target." In a memorandum for Major General L. R. Groves written on May 12,1945, Dr. Oppenheimer and other personnel informed Groves that Hiroshima was an "important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial zone." Nagasaki is described as a major shipping and industrial center in a memo for General Arnold written on July 24,1945. The text is accurate.
6. Dr. Dobbs states that in its treatment of the White Citizens Councils (on page 703) the text tries to "sweep white hostility under the rug."
Response: The text does describe white hostility to African Americans and to desegregation, and it does describe the actions of the White Citizens Councils as expressing and demonstrating such hostility. Unfortunately, given the limits on
textbook size and cost, we do not have room to go thoroughly into every aspect of the White Citizens Councils. The text is accurate.
7. Dr. Dobbs criticizes the text for what he considers to be an inaccurate statement (on page 703) that Texas Gov. Shivers "promised to comply" with the Brown school desegregation decision.
Response: (change to correct an error) We will remove the statement.
8. Dr. Dobbs criticizes the text for omitting to describe the FBI's attempts to derail the civil rights movement.
Response: While the passage does not provide the additional details the reviewer wishes to see in the text, there are no factual errors.
Written comments on The Americans by Robert Bohmf alk
1. Mr. Bohmfalk notes that The Americans, among others, did not include information about the Jonestown mass suicide, nor did it include information about the Branch Dividians at Waco.
Response: Mr. Bohmfalk's statement is accurate, but we do not believe it is possible to include every event in the 20th century, especially at the expense of other historical information we consider more important. Given the constraints of a high school history text, some information must be omitted in order to provide the correct balance of facts, figures, themes, and major events that make up 20th century American history.
2. Mr. Bohmfalk notes that various textbooks do not include information about Three-Mile Island, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine shootings, the Challenger explosion, and the Beirut bombing.
Response: In The Americans, a full-page feature on Three-Mile Island appears on page 823, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Columbine shooting are cited on page 862, the Challenger explosion is cited on page 841, and information about the Beirut bombing appears on pages US7 and US8 in the terrorism supplement at the end of the book.
Written comments on The Americans by Claudia Gomez
1. Ms. Gomez cites the need for greater coverage of the role Hispanics played during World War II.
Response: As Ms. Gomez notes, page 573 of The Americans does provide information about the role Hispanics played in World War II. The information is provided in the context of contributions made by several groups, including Hispanics, African Americans, and Japanese Americans:
"Like African Americans, most Mexican Americans served in segregated units. Seventeen Mexican-American soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. An all-Chicano unitCompany E of the 141st Regiment, 36th Division became one of the most decorated of the war."
In addition, page 564 of the student text provides information about the dramatic contributions made by Hispanics to the armed forces during World War II.
"Despite discrimination in the military, more than 300,000 Mexican Americans joined the armed forces. While Mexican Americans in Los Angeles made up only a tenth of the city's population, they suffered a fifth of the city's wartime casualties."
Given the enormous amount of military and political information a chapter on World War II must provide, it is not possible to cite all of the contributions to the war effort made by the various ethnic groups in the service at the time of the conflict. Our information about Hispanics during World War II does, however, provide an accurate reflection of the heroism and dedication of Hispanic soldiers in the armed forces.
2. Ms. Gomez interprets a statement on page 662 of the student text as implying a derogatory image of Mexican immigrants, which she believes could cause feelings of shame in migrant children, rather than pride in their heritage.
Response: The text to which Ms. Gomez refers discusses Mexican immigrants in the context of agricultural labor during World War II. The passage states:
"When the United States entered World War II, the shortage of agricultural laborers spurred the federal government to initiate, in 1942, a program in which Mexican braceros, or hired hands, were allowed into the United States to harvest crops. Hundred of thousands of braceros entered the United States on a short-term basis between 1942 and 1947. When their employment was ended, they were
expected to return to Mexico. However, many remained in the United States illegally."
This passage is not derogatory to Mexican immigrants or to students of Mexican heritage. The passage simply describesaccuratelythe results of an agricultural labor program initiated by the federal government during World War II.
Written comments on The Americans by Lucy Camarillo
1. Ms. Camarillo acknowledges that The Americans contains "the most information on Hispanic historical contributions" of the three American history textbooks she reviewed, but cites a lack of coverage of Diego Rivera.
Response: Diego Rivera is mentioned on page 512 in the context of the Federal Art Project. Because this particular section must include information about a variety of art forms and artists, it is not possible to go into great detail about specific artists. However, Rivera is cited for his revolutionary work as a muralist.
In an earlier chapter, on page 364 of the student text, a History Through Art feature examines Zapatistas (1931), a work by Mexican artist Jose Orozco. The accompanying History Through Art note in the teacher's edition provides a short biography of Orozco's life. It also notes that "Orozco worked with fellow muralist Diego Rivera and others to bring about a period of artistic achievement in Mexico known as the Mexican Renaissance." In this way students are introduced to Rivera first in the context of his contribution to the Mexican Renaissance, and later with regard to his influence on artists who were part of the Federal Art Project.
2. Ms. Camarillo states that there is no mention of Hispanics in the military in Chapter 17.
Response: On page 564 of Chapter 17, under a heading titled "Dramatic Contributions," the text describes the heroic sacrifice made by Hispanics in the armed forces:
"Despite discrimination in the military, more than 300,000 Mexican Americans joined the armed forces. While Mexican Americans in Los Angeles made up only a tenth of the city's population, they suffered a fifth of the city's wartime casualties."
On page 573 of Chapter 17 the text describes the valor displayed by Mexican-American soldiers in combat:
"Seventeen Mexican-American soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. An all-Chicano unitCompany E of the 141st Regiment, 36th Division became one of the most decorated of the war."
3. Ms. Camarillo cites a lack of information about the paucity of job opportunities as well as the issue of segregated burial grounds for World War II veterans in a passage about the "zoot-suit" riots on page 593 of the student text.
Response: The focus of the passage is not on the treatment of returning Mexican-American veterans but on the Mexican-American youth who adopted the zoot-suit style. The purpose of the passage is to describe the prejudice Mexican Americans experienced during the war years.
The photograph to which Ms. Camarillo refers in her written statement is not in The Americans.
4. Ms. Camarillo criticizes the text for not providing any information about Tejano music.
Response: Because of TEKS considerations as well as general requirements of a high school history text, it is not always possible to include information about specific aspects of various cultures. However, Ms. Camarillo raises a good point, and we will add new content to page 209 of the teacher's edition to address her comment.
(content change) We will add a More About feature with the following text:
Cultural Influences The Anglo and Mexican populations of Texas have long shaped one another's cultures. As Enrique Madrid, who lives in the border area between Texas and Mexico, says, "We have two very powerful cultures coming to terms with each other every day on the banks of the Rio Grande and creating a new culture." Many examples of this mixing can be seen in the culture of the Tejanos Texans of Mexican descent. For example, Tejano music reflects roots in Mexican mariachi as well as American country and western music. Emerging Tejano stars such as the Kumbia Kings have added to the mix the sounds of reggae and hip-hop, continuing the blending of cultural and musical influences.
Tejano music reached a larger audience through the crossover success of Selena, a charismatic young Chicana singer from Corpus Christi, Texas. (Selena died in 1995.) Since 1991, at least 75 stations have adopted a full-time or part-time Tejano format, and as of 2001, Tejano music was a $100-million-a-year industry.
5. Ms. Camarillo states that Dr. Ellen Ochoa's picture is shown on page 879 of the textbook but that an explanation of who Dr. Ochoa is not provided.
Response: A caption naming Dr. Ochoa is provided on the student page. A More About feature in the teacher's edition provides additional information about Dr. Ochoa, including mention of her doctorate from Stanford and her place in history as the first Hispanic-American woman in space.
Overall, The Americans provides a visible and positive chronicle of the role of Hispanics in American history. Latin and Hispanic leaders are named on pages 225 (Gregorio Cortez), 504 (Pedro Gonzalez), 573 (Company E, 141st Regiment, 36th Division), 662 (Ignacio Lopez), 770 (Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta), 882 (Antonia Hernandez), 844 (Antonia Coello, Daniel Villanueva, Toney Anaya, Robert Martinez, Lauro Cavazos), 875 (Sandra Cisneros), 879 (Ellen Ochoa).
In addition, Antonia Hernandez and MALDEF are discussed on page 882, David Sanchez and the Brown Berets, Jose Gutierrez and La Raza Unida, Representative Ed Roybal and Senator Joseph Montoya are cited on page 770, and Reies Tijerina appears on page 771.
(content change) We will also add the following content to page 771 in Chapter 23:
"The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) had formed in 1929 to fight segregation and other forms of discrimination. In the
1940s and into the 1950s, LULAC had filed lawsuits to desegregate schools throughout the Southwest, and in 1954, they helped win Mexican Americans the right to serve on juries. In the 1960s, some LULAC education and jobs programs won funding as pilot programs in LBJ's Great Society."
Written comments on Celebrating Texas by Naomi Carrier Grundy
Naomi Grundy testified about all the seventh grade Texas History programs currently under consideration. Her comments were generally favorable about the increased coverage in the current texts of African-American contributions to Texas history. We are proud of Celebrating Texas''s discussions of African Americans and their contributions to the greatness of Texas. Given the restrictions of how much curriculum seventh grade teachers can cover in a single year, it's necessary to make difficult decisions about which individuals and issues can be covered in depth. We feel that Celebrating Texas has walked this line nicely, being as inclusive and diverse in its coverage as possible. We appreciate Ms. Grundy's recognition of those efforts.
Written comments on Celebrating Texas by Eleanor Hutcheson
In separate testimony, Eleanor Hutcheson briefly mentioned Celebrating Texas, renewing a criticism she made in the July 17 public hearing about a photograph in the book. As we responded to this criticism in our response to those hearings, we will not do so here. However, we did appreciate Board member Dr. Alma A. Allen expressing her support of the use of the photograph during a response to Ms. Hutcheson.
Written comments on Creating America submitted by Eleanor Hutcheson
1. Ms. Hutcheson's queries about Crispus Attucks were previously raised in her written comments submitted after the July 17 hearing. Our response was submitted in a document entitiled "Formal Response to Written Comments Received After July 17,2002, Public Hearing," and is repeated below:
Response: We have chosen to combine our responses to queries Ms. Hutcheson made regarding the cover of the book and pages 147 and 149, since all three are concerned with Crispus Attucks.
It is a little unclear as to what Ms. Hutcheson's main problem is with our treatment of Crispus Attucks. We don't understand what she means when she says, "Strange is it not that this individual and picture has just appeared after 232 years?" If the implication is that Crispus Attucks and his story are fabricated for purposes of this textbook, we have plenty of documentation attesting to his existence and his role in events of the time. Indeed, Attucks has often been hailed as a hero since his death in 1770, and a monument to Attucks and the other victims of the Boston Massacre has stood in Boston since 1888. Attucks is referred to as a hero, martyr, and patriot of the American Revolution in many encyclopedias and scholarly texts.
Ms. Hutcheson seems to imply that because no person of color is evident in Paul Revere's engraving shown on page 149, it would suggest that Attucks was not involved in the skirmish. While Revere's engraving is of historical value simply because he is who he is, it should not be viewed as the definitive portrait of events. In fact, most historians agree that Revere designed it to create anti-British sentiment. Some other drawings of the event do include a black man in the crowd. However, Revere's version was the most famous at the time, and Revere has name-recognition value for students.
We would also add that the title spread of the text simply labels Attucks as "American colonist killed in the Boston Massacre." On page 147, the text states his ethnic heritage as African American and Native American, for which there is abundant documentation. Ms. Hutcheson is in error when she refers to Attucks's inclusion in the book as a "manufactured myth."
2. Page 442: Ms. Hutcheson requests documentation for a sentence in the text that says, "But poor whites accepted slavery because it kept them off the bottom of society."
Response: (content change) According to A House Divided by Richard Sewell and Ordeal by Fire by James McPherson, poor whites were often racist as well, and many aspired to acquire slaves. Despite not owning slaves, they still benefited from white supremacy, and slavery preserved this. However, to be sure that this passage is clear, we will revise the paragraph to read:
"Most Southern whites were poor farmers who owned no slaves. But even many of the nonslaveholding whites supported slavery because it kept them off the bottom of society."
3. Page 520: Ms. Hutcheson requests documentation for the following sentence: "About half of the Republicans were poor white farmers."
Response: (content change) We will change this sentence to read, "Many of the Republicans were poor white farmers."
4. Page 525: Ms. Hutcheson requests documentation for the following sentence: "White racists even killed teachers and burned freedmen's schools in some parts of the South." This query was orginally raised in her written comments received after the July 17 hearing. The response provided in "Formal Response to Written Comments Received After July 17,2002, Public Hearing" is repeated below.
Response: Numerous encyclopedias, scholarly texts, and Web sites provide documentation of the violence that white racists directed against schools and teachers in freedmen's schools during Reconstruction. These include Encyclopaedia Britannica and America's Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War by Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney (1995). These sources state that teachers at freedmen's schools faced harassment, violence, and even death, and that their schools were often burned.
Written comments on World Cultures and Geography submitted by Robert Raborn
1. Page 1 of 6: Mr. Raborn's comment: "The method of reviewing this textbook as scanning the overall contents with careful attention to the section pertaining to the U.S. its government, its economy and its Biblical heritage.... It is shocking and disappointing how very little information there is concerning these topics in these huge books."
Response: The content requirements for the Grade 6 TEKS state, "In Grade 6, students study people and places of the contemporary world." The Texas standards require textbooks to include detailed geographic information about all the regions of the world, with emphasis on a few countries selected for study. Given the need to cover all regions of the world in the textbook, it was not possible to provide in-depth coverage of U.S. history, government, and economics. This content, however, is included in the S^grade course on U.S. history, and McDougal Littell has presented the required content in its 8th-grade textbook, Creating America.
In spite of the need to cover all regions of the world, though, World Cultures and Geography does include two chapters of information about U.S. geography and history. One entire section, on pages 94-99, is devoted to the U.S. government. Another section, on pages 102-107, is devoted to the U.S. economy.
2. Page 1 of 6: Mr. Raborn's comment: "We are told the US is just like all other 'democracies/ This seems to be the major theme of the text."
Response: The book discusses the U.S. Constitution and government in a very positive tone, establishing it as a model for other democracies and republics around the world. On page 94, the book states, "Amazingly, this document [the Constitution] remains the foundation for all laws and the framework for the U.S. government more than 200 years after its creation." Page 95 states, "The U.S. Constitution is the oldest national constitution still in use." Throughout this section, the treatment of the Constitution is very positive. When the United States is mentioned with other democracies, it is to emphasize the positive impact that the U.S. constitutional government has had on other nations around the world.
3. Page 1 of 6: Mr. Raborn's comment: "When they do acknowledge our economic successes, they make students feel uncomfortable about this, by such comments as, 'The success of these industries helps make many Americans wealthier than other parts of the world,'" (104).
Response: This and other statements are intended to underscore the strengths of the American economy. Page 102 establishes the tone for the treatment of the U.S. economy when the Main Idea states, "The United States has an economy based on free enterprise. Consumers and business owners decide what goods and services to produce." Next to this, Why It Matters Now states, "This economic system has made it possible for the United States to succeed as a leader in the worldwide economy." The section on pages 102 to 107, dealing with the U.S. economy, contains clear explanations of economic principles and is very positive about the benefits of our free-enterprise system.
4. Page 1 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on page 17, the book "immediately introduces a very pro-UN presentation.... The explanation makes it sound as though all the problems in the world is because people just do not understand one another. They never address that there are conflicts of philosophies and values. It was not our lack of understanding of the USSR that contributed to the 'cold war.' It was our rejection of Communist values. This book tries to blend all values and philosophies, so that the student will view them as all equal."
Response: The textbook states on page 17, "The member nations hope to cooperate to solve economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems and to promote respect for human rights and freedom." The textbook is reporting in a factual way what the purpose of the United Nations is.
Further down on the page, the textbook states, "Part of the problem is a lack of understanding of other people's ways of life." The textbook is not stating that all problems can be solved through greater understanding.
Regarding the textbook's treatment of Communism, the textbook consistently emphasizes the repression and lack of freedom under a Communist system. For example, the following excerpts from pages 342-347 will convey the tone with which the textbook explains the impact that Joseph Stalin had on the Soviet Union:
The name Stalin is related to the Russian word for "steel." Stalin was greatly feared, and his rule was indeed as tough as steel... Under Stalin, the government controlled every aspect of Soviet life.... Stalin also used his secret police to get rid of citizens he did not trust. The secret police arrested those who did not support the Soviet government. Suspects were transported to slave-labor camps in Siberia. Millions of men and women were sent to this remote and bitterly cold region of northeastern Russia." (pages 344-346).
This is a critical and accurate treatment of the Soviet Union and demonstrates that the textbook takes a strong position against that Communist regime, as it does against all Communist regimes.
5. Page 1 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on page 19, the book states, "[T]he governments of the United States, Mexico, and India are examples of democratic governments.'" He cites this as an "Example of diminishing the values of our US Constitutional Republic."
Response: (content change) The textbook is emphasizing the positive impact that the United States has had on other nations by including the names of other countries, such as Mexico and India, that have looked to the United States as a model of a strong and stable democracy. Both Mexico and India have historically looked to the United States as the model on which to build their own republican institutions.
Another reviewer, however, has pointed out to us that on page 19, the book refers to the United States, as well as Mexico and India, as having democratic
governments. In actuality, the United States has a republican form of government. Therefore, we will revise this passage to read as follows:
Limited and Unlimited Governments In a limited government, everyone, including those in charge, must obey the laws. Some of the laws tell the government what it cannot do. Democracies and republics are two forms of limited government. In a democracy, the people have the authority to make laws directly. In a republic, the people make laws through elected representatives. The governments of the United States, Mexico, and India are examples of republics.
6. Page 2 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments about page 25: "In both countries (US and Canada) Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslim, Buddhists and members of other religions all flourish/ Effort to equate all religions/"
Response (content change): We will change the last sentence on the page to read as follows:
"In both countries, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and members of other religions are free to practice their faiths."
7. Page 2 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on page 39, the textbook make "another pro-UN presentation. This time it focuses on the need for UnESCO to save 'man-made and natural wonders all over the world/"
Response: The textbook is reporting in a factual way that UNESCO established the World Heritage Committee in 1972. It also states factually that this committee looks for way to preserve such sites. The examples given in the textbook seem to us to be mainstream examples of sites that have been preserved: the Grand Canyon, the Galapagos Islands, the Roman Coliseum, and the Pyramids of Giza.
8. Page 2 of 6: Mr. Raborn states that on page 69, boxed information and picture of Mr. St. Helen's volcano details destruction"... true, but nothing recorded positive like how quickly the area recovered. Or the little loss of human life... only negative/
Response (content change): The purpose of this example is to being the section with a dramatic example of how changes affect physical geography. At the end of the boxed section, we will change the last sentence to read as follows (information verified by World Book):
Fortunately, the eruption did not cause any loss of life, and the land around the volcano has begun to recover from the eruptions.
9. Page 2 of 6: Mr. Raborn objects to passages on page 91 and 103 having to do with taxes. On page 91, a box entitled "Duties of Citizens" lists "Pay Taxes." The second refers to the use of taxes to pay for police and fire protection, schools, and other services. He comments: "Influencing attitude to be pro-taxation and government solutions to problems." He goes on to claim, This is socialism that is being promoted without naming it."
Response: the textbook explains on page 393, in the context of France: "this nationalization of industry is a form of socialism. Socialism is an economic system in which some businesses and instries are controlled by the government." In none of the passages that Mr. Raborn himself has quoted does the textbook favor or at all imply that the United States ought to nationalize industry or control businesses and industries. Instead, the textbook cites examples or how tax dollars are used: for police and fire protection, for education, for roads, and for military forces. These uses of tax dollars are found in thousands of communities throughout the United States.
10. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments about page 91: "Much emphasis on the US being a democracy with no mention of our form of government being a Constitutional Republic."
Response: (content change) We will change the wording of the last paragraph on page 91 to explain that the United States is a republic. The wording will be as follows:
The Political Process in a Democracy and a Republic In a democracy, government receives its power from the people. Democracy is a Greek work that means "rule of the people." In a republic, the people also hold power, but they rule through elected representatives. The United States is a republic. The citizens of a democracy or a republic have the responsibility to take part in the political process. The political process refers to those legal activities through which citizens can change government policy. By becoming involved, citizens demonstrate their patriotism, or love for their country.
11. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on page 94, pictures and a caption of police escorting students into formerly all-white schools present a very negative visual aid. He also comments, "[I]n the written material (page 94) it states, "The words in the Constitution remain the same, but changes in society have led to a new interpretation of those words/ This plants in the student's mind that there are no absolutes."
Response: The image and caption are showing enforcement of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954. It is appropriate to show this historically important decision and its impact in a section dealing with the U.S. Constitution.
In the sentence that Mr. Raborn has quoted, the purpose of the passage is to introduce the idea that the Constitution is a flexible document. Page 96 explains how the Constitution grows and changes through the amendment process. The textbook is not stating that there are no absolutes. In fact, by explaining to students on page 95 that "The U.S. Constitution is the oldest national constitution still in use," the textbook is establishing the Constitution as the foundation of absolute beliefs such as freedom in American life.
12. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that the book states on page 95, "Ideas that shaped the U.S. Constitution came from many places and times including Great Britain, France, and ancient Rome. Native American nations such as the Iroquois Confederacy may have influenced political ideas." Mr. Raborn then comments, "No reference to the fact that the foundation of our government through the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is on biblical principles and the belief in a Creator God over all."
Response: The sentence that Mr. Raborn cites is listing some examples of influences that helped to shape the Constitution. The book is not stating that the Iroquois Confederacy did have an influence on the Constitutiononly that there may have been an influence. The relevant TEK here is 12(C): "the student understands alternative ways of organizing governments. The student is expected to... identify historical origins of democratic forms of government." The textbook fulfills this TEK by listing historical influences. Moreover, page 285 explains the Roman republican government that was an historical influence on the founders of the United States. Thus, the textbook has followed the requirements of the TEKS in its explanation of the influences on the U.S. Constitution.
13. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments about page 96: "This in no way explains to the student the value to U.S. citizens that their government is a republic."
Response: Pages 94 to 98, which deal with the U.S. government and the Constitution, include many statements that reinforce the positive aspects of the U.S. form of government. Several of these statements are listed below:
Page 94: "After more than 200 years, the Constitution continues to protect the freedoms of U.S. citizens."
Page 95: "The writers of the Constitution designed a government that
received its power from the people."
Page 95: "The founders, or early American leaders, wanted to protect
people's individual rights and freedoms from government interference.
They also knew that a society needs strong laws and a stable government
to insure the common good."
Page 96: "This Bill of Rights lists specific freedoms guaranteed to every
These are all accurate statements, and they emphasize the strengths and benefits of the U.S. constitution and government.
14. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that the Dateline on page 102 introduces the discussion of the U.S. economy by describing the dot.com economic problems.
Response: This introduction is intended to present a contemporary example of changes in the American economy. On page 102, the paragraph under the head "The Study of Economics" states, "Investors, service providers, manufacturers, and consumers make choices each day, and these choices affect the state of the economy." The textbook is emphasizing the fundamental freedom that Americans have to make economic choices.
The remainder of the discussion of the American economy is overwhelmingly positive on pages 103 to 107. The section describes the variety and vibrancy of the U.S. economy. For example, on page 104, a chart lists the per capita Gross Domestic Product of the United States as $33,900. These comparative statistics demonstrate forcefully for students the strengths and benefits of the U.S. economy.
(editorial change) For clarity, we will change the heading for the second column in the table on page 104 to read "U.S. dollars" (delete the words, "GDP in").
15. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that the section on the United States contains no images of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and other Presidents or leaders.
Response: The painting on page 95 is a famous rendition of the signing of the Constitution and includes images of the participants in the Constitutional Convention. In addition, Martin Luther King, Jr., is featured on page 96.
16. Page 3 of 6: Mr. Raborn objects to the following sentence on page 105: "Other nations such as Canada, many countries in Western Europe, Japan, and some
Latin American countries, also have market economies." Mr. Raborn comments, "Again an effort to equate U.S. with other countries. The other countries mentioned are all much more socialistic, where governments control much of their economies."
Response: All of these countries are considered by mainstream economists to have market economies. Each of the countries named has numerous private companies and corporations that sell goods and services throughout the world. The companies in these countries issue stocks and bonds that are traded on stock markets. These are all characteristics of a market economy. In the last ten years, Latin American countries in particular have privatized many companies that were formerly state-owned, with beneficial results. On page 392, the textbook states, accurately, "However, today, the French government is slowly placing more of the economy under the control of private companies." This emphasizes that France is moving toward a more purely market economy. Moreover, the textbook is not equating the United States with these countries; it does point out the unique strengths of the U.S. economy.
17. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on page 105, the textbook states, "Profit is the money that remains after all the costs of producing a product are paid." He adds, "It should be added that taxes cut into profits also."
Response: The definition of a profit given in the textbook is correct. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a profit is "The amount received for a commodity in excess of the original cost." The purpose of the passage is to explain, in terms that a sixth-grader will understand, what a profit is.
18. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on page 135, the textbook equates all religions that are practiced in Canada.
Response: This passage on page 135 states accurately that many religions are practiced in Canada. The passage also states, "Christianity is widely practiced in Canada...." The paragraph concludes by stating, "People of every cultural group are free to worship as they choose."
19. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments about page 135: "Boxed information with pictures of history of Canadian flags. No such information about US. Flag."
Response: On page 91, the book explains to students the value and importance of patriotism in the United States. In addition, on page 90, the book describes the many acts of patriotism and heroism after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
20. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments about page 139: "Boxed information 'First Migration to North America' indicates, 'climate became colder, cause; more of Earth's water froze, cause; Ocean water level dropped as much as 300 feet, cause; land between Asia and North America became dry, cause; people could walk from Asia to North America.' Theory presented as fact."
Response: (change to correct a factual error) We have referred to The National Geographic Desk Reference to verify this information and plan to make the following change. In the diagram entitled "First Migration to North America": In the third box, we will change the Effect to read, "Ocean water dropped to 125 feet below its current level." Documentation for our statement about the land bridge can be found in Brian M. Pagan's Ancient North America: The Archaeology of a Continent.
(change to correct a factual error) We will also change the second Skillbuilder question to read, "What happened because the water level fell to 125 feet below its current level?"
21. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn objects to the sentence on page 177 that states, "U.S. forces won control of northern Mexico, made official when Mexico was forced to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo." He comments, "makes it sound as if the U.S. mistreated Mexico."
Response: The sentence is not implying mistreatment of Mexico. It is stating the facts: Mexico lost the war and was therefore required to sign the treaty, in which it lost territory.
22. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that on pages 215 to 219, the textbook provides "a very positive presentation on Cuba" and a positive portrayal of Castro. He criticizes the book for quoting Castro as follows: "We cannot ever become dictators. Those who do not have the people with them must resort to being dictators. We have the love of the people and because of that love, we will never turn away from our principles." Mr. Raborn also criticizes the head "Cuba Chooses Communism."
Response: This book is extremely critical of Castro and his impact on the Cuban people, as shown in this passage on page 218:
They [the wealthy] were particularly upset when he redistributed land so that no family or farm owned more than a certain amount. Castro also imprisoned people who spoke out against him. As a result, Cubans who opposed Castro began to flee to the United States. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people left Cuba.
Castro has kept a tight hold on power for more than 40 years. Without ever being elected, he has remained head of state. His government has controlled all newspapers and radio and television stations. No one has been allowed to criticize his actions or the government. Despite his 1959 promise, Castro became a dictator.
By including the earlier quotation by Castro, the textbook underscores Castro's betrayal of Cubans by turning to Communism.
(editorial change) On page 217, we will change the head "Cuba Chooses Communism" to read "Cuba Becomes a Communist Country."
23. Page 4 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that the textbook's treatment of socialism on page 392 "certainly doesn't warn students of the dangers it poses to their liberties and freedoms."
Response: In the following sentence on page 392, the book states, "However, today the French government is slowly placing more of the economy under the control of private companies." In the following section, about Germany, the textbook states, "In comparison to West Germany, East Germany remained poor. Most East Germans looked toward West Germany, and western Europe in general, as a place where people had better lives" (page 395). Such statements, along with the quotations given earlier about the Soviet Union, paint socialism and Communism in a negative light. In addition, by pointing out that France is privatizing many companies, the book makes it clear that France's economy is moving toward a purer market economy.
24. Page 5 of 6: Mr. Raborn lists page numbers that contain photos and biographical information about world leaders in the past and present.
Response: Mr. Raborn does not state a criticism of the inclusion of these world leaders, so we are not sure how to respond.
25. Page 5 of 6: Mr. Raborn states that on page 285, the textbook "finally defines republic as related to ancient Rome, never relates it to US."
Response: We have indicated that we are making changes in two passages to identify the United States as a republic. Also, on page 95, ancient Rome was cited as one of the influences on the U.S. Constitution.
26. Page 5 of 6: Mr. Raborn comments that the book states on page 545: "the oldest fossils of human ancestors have been found in African sites.... Tools of stone made 2.5 million years ago have been found." The book also states, "Three
and a half million years ago, a humanlike being died beside a lake in Africa." This is the skeleton referred to as "Lucy." Mr. Raborn comments, "All theory presented as fact."
Response: (content change) The material Mr. Raborn refers to is easily documented in a variety of sources. Based on information in Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey, we plan to change the opening reference to read, "Three to three-and-a-half-million years ago ..." Note that the passage in the Dateline states that the skeleton subsequently named Lucy was "humanlike" not that it was human.
(content change) In addition, in the paragraph that follows the Dateline, we will change the second sentence to read, "Tools of stone made about 2.5 million years ago have also been found in Eastern Africa."
27. Page 5 of 6: Mr. Raborn states that the book includes the Five Pillars of Wisdom on pages 440-441 and the Four Truths and the Eightfold Path of Buddha on page 601. He comments, "No equal representation of Christian teachings."
Response: The textbook contains multiple passages of information about Christianity, with special emphasis on the worldwide influence of Christianity. Information about Christianity can be found on pages 111 (Christianity in the United States), 135 (Christianity in Canada), 194 (Christianity in Mexico), 212 (Christianity in Central America), 247 (Christianity in Brazil), 306 (Christianity in European history), 354 (Soviet persecution of Christianity and other religions), 364 (Christianity in Russia), 403 (Christianity in Poland), 436-437 (origins of Christianity), 556 (Christianity in Ethiopia), 645 (Christianity in Southeast Asia), and 652 (Christianity in Southeast Asia). These multiple references demonstrate that Christianity is treated in depth and with emphasis on its worldwide influence.