A Murfreesboro resident says she’s found many examples of a left-wing ideological bias in the textbooks that school officials hand out to Tennessee’s public school students.
This woman, Jackie Archer (pictured above), also said the textbooks she’s examined seem to glorify Islam at the expense of other religions.
Archer is affiliated with Tennessee Rising, as well as Tennessee Textbook Advocates. Archer said both groups look for bias in public school textbooks.
“Textbook companies are not local. They are huge multi-national corporations. It’s a multi-billion-dollar business, and the interests are more global than they are local. The standards are characterized in a way that promotes progressivism,” Archer told The Tennessee Star Wednesday.
“It’s not all really blatant. It’s more subtle, in the images they choose and the people they choose to highlight. The people they choose to make examples of and the way they identify people. For instance, they avoid identifying any group that does anything negative if they happen to be Democrats.”
Archer did not provide photos or screenshots to substantiate what she said, but she cited many examples by memory:
• Textbooks allegedly do not mention that slave owners in pre-Civil War times were mostly Democrats and that Republicans emancipated the slaves.
• The textbooks also allegedly portray former U.S. President Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, as a racist. Archer said that in his lifetime Jackson adopted a Native American boy. The website for the Hermitage, Jackson’s plantation home in Davidson County, substantiates what Archer said.
• The textbooks also allegedly celebrate the life of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger who reportedly believed in eugenics.
• Archer also said the textbooks cast Islam in a positive light and that the amount of space given to other religions is minuscule.
Tennessee Department of Education spokesman Jay Klein did not directly address what Archer said. But he told The Star in an emailed statement that state officials review textbooks for their alignment to Tennessee state standards.
“The decision on which textbook to purchase is made at the local level. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-6-2207, local boards of education must have textbook review committees to review the textbooks and instructional materials proposed for adoption and must make their adoption upon recommendations of such committees,” Klein wrote.
“These committees must be composed of teachers, or supervisors and teachers, and parents with children enrolled in the LEA at the time of appointment to the committee, additionally, the director of schools in the LEA adopting textbooks or instructional materials serves as an ex-officio member of all committees.”
Archer, meanwhile, said she wants more transparency and for educators to have alternative choices of material to use.
– – –