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The Texas Textbook Debate24:05
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University of Texas students rally before a State Board of Education meeting in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP)
University of Texas students rally before a State Board of Education meeting in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP)

Texas is big. Textbook publishers like to publish once, for Texas, and let everyone else use the same.

But the Texas Board of Education often has a particular view of the world. Now it’s pushing a raft of new changes that would turn American children’s understanding of history, science, and more, in a distinctly conservative direction. Away, critics say, from real history and real science.

This hour, On Point: Textbooks in Texas — and what American children will learn in the 21st century.Guests:

Joining us from Austin, Texas, is Nathan Bernier, senior reporter for the NPR affiliate KUT.

From College Station, Texas, we're joined by Don McLeroy, former chairman and current member of the State Board of Education in Texas. He has been the point person in the conservative push for Texas curriculum changes.

From Madison, Wisconsin, we're joined by Paul Boyer, professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His textbook “The American Nation” is used in schools throughout the country and at one time was part of the curriculum in Texas.

And from Washington, D.C., we're joined by Kristen Amundson, communication manager for the education think tank Education Sector. She was a Democratic state representative in Virginia from 1999 to 2009. Prior to that she served for nearly a decade on the Fairfax County, Va., School Board.

This program aired on March 25, 2010.

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