William Gross, Kerry, Mcgraw Hill discussed on Texas Standard
Grow Texas news coverage by donating to your local public radio station today. 33 minutes past the hour. Texas Standard Time. Enjoy the S in for David Brown A meant the surgeon anti Asian attacks during the pandemic. There's also been conversations in Texas and across the US about the lack of Asian American history in classrooms as key Ari's Elizabeth Myong reports, educators in Texas and learning, experts say the reasons behind that absence are complicated. They include state curriculum standards, textbooks and politics. More than a quarter of the students at Plano West Senior High School identify his Asian. Still, I need to try to preserve a recent graduate entire American didn't feel represented in the classroom. I feel like Asian American history isn't really taught too much. And like social studies classes cheaper, sir, didn't recall teachers or textbooks. Mentioning a single Asian American historical figure, and it's like not really incorporated into the curriculum. That curriculum is based on state standards, the Texas essential knowledge and skills or ticks. State exams are also based on the ticks. William Gross says educators face pressure to teach to those tests. So if the state of Texas doesn't say this is important material for you to learn it's hard for us to fit it into the curriculum. Gross is a first year high school teacher in Austin. He says state standards don't include any named Asian American historical figures and outline just two related major topics. The Chinese exclusion Act in Japanese internment. Given those limitations, he tries to provide students with more historical context, according to takes, the Chinese exclusion Act was all about jobs, but with that you can also talk about the lynchings that were happening of Chinese Americans and Asian Americans all up and down California. Textbooks are another major part of the equation. Texas State University history Professor Frank de la Teja is a former state historian and I served as an adviser on middle and high school history books. He calls changing textbooks and evolutionary process. It's a great big balancing act. Publishers proceed cautiously trying to appeal to parents, teachers and state boards. And so what That means is that history of inches forward in terms of our understanding what should be included what should be stressed. Take the teacher's edition of a Texas approved McGraw Hill book, United States History Since 18 77. It's more than 800 pages look up Asian Americans in the index and just one pages listed. That page has two sentences about the ethnic group. The Texas Education Agency, which oversees public education, declined to comment to K R a on the record about curriculum or textbook standards for Asian American history. Frank de la Teja says politics play a role to It isn't just educators who determine what the standards are. We have elected officials who do that, and there's there's always horse trading in politics. Most big decisions are made by the elected state Board of Education. It includes nine Republicans and six Democrats in recent years. It's drawn nationwide attention for its standards on evolution and for considering a Mexican American studies textbook deemed racist. Kerry reached out to several board members for this story, but they didn't respond to requests for comment. In recent years, The board has approved classes on Mexican American and African American studies. An Asian American history course hasn't been established. But the board has listed Asian Americans as a group that could be included in the States Ethnic studies courses. Former Austin elementary school teacher Mohe. Meta doesn't think that's enough. It's not one thing that like Hey, okay, as long as we have Asian American studies curriculum that's going to solve all the problems a social studies curriculum reviews scheduled for the next school year could be an opportunity for change Originally set for 2023. S P O. We accelerated the process after students petition for an anti racist curriculum. Beyond that medicines incorporating more Asian American history in Texas schools. It's about acknowledging students community It should be because we envision a world in which defining American doesn't look one certain way. In which we acknowledge the contributions of all people in building this this society curriculum changes are gaining traction in some states and made the Illinois Senate passed legislation that will require Asian American history to be taught in public schools. If signed into law, Illinois would be the first state to adopt those requirements. After recent acts of violence against Asian Americans, experts say it's more important than ever that states, including Texas incorporate.