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."