Indoctrinating Our Children: Textbooks

Click on link to view Fox News Report on Texas textbooks and evolution than read Donna Garner's expsoure of the Texas Freedom Network!

Indoctrinating Our Children: Evolution (9/4/09)

In this segment from tonight's Fox News Special, Do You Know What Textbooks Your Children are Really Reading?  Texas State Board of Education counters  the efforts of those who wish to  sell evolution instead of teaching it.

“Texas Freedom Network Exposed”

Donna Garner - 9.7.09
Education Policy Commentor


FoxNews just aired a special program entitled "Do You Know What Textbooks Your Children Are Really Reading?" ( )


In the video, Kathy Miller, the president of Texas Freedom Network, was interviewed.  Texas Freedom Network (TFN) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.  That means TFN can (and does) lobby for legislation and participates in political campaigns and elections. TFN received $1.9 Million for its Education Fund between 2002-2007. 


Also interviewed was Neal Frey who is the director of Educational Research Analysts, a 50l(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Educational Research Analysts is not permitted to campaign for particular political candidates nor do any political lobbying, and it does not.  Frey’s organization received $788,000 in contributions between 2002-2007.


Is it really important that Texas Freedom Network is a 50l(c)(4) organization and Educational Research Analysts is a 50l(c)(3) organization?  What does it matter? 


New Social Studies standards are presently in the pipeline in Texas. These new Social Studies standards will lead to new textbooks.  Texas is the largest K-12 purchaser of textbooks in the U. S.  Therefore, whatever is put into Texas’ textbooks influences what is put into textbooks used in public schools throughout the country.


Social Studies textbooks have the power to indoctrinate students’ thinking, and leftwing political groups know this.  They want to control the way children think.  They want to rewrite history and de-emphasize the role of the historical documents upon which our nation is founded.  They want to implement political correctness into every Social Studies textbook in our nation’s schools.   


Do parents want a leftwing political machine (TFN) influencing the content of their children’s Social Studies textbooks; or do they want a well-respected, academically capable, non-political group such as Educational Research Analysts influencing the content of Social Studies textbooks?


The differences between TFN and Educational Research Analysts are vast. Neal Frey and his staff at Educational Research Analysts actually read every page of the textbooks, develop detailed critiques, provide a list of the factual errors in the textbooks, rate textbooks, and then present their findings in public hearings before the elected Texas State Board of Education, the Legislature, and to national organizations. 


Educational Research Analysts sends their textbook rating sheets (for free) to every school in Texas to help educators make informed choices about textbooks. Educational Research Analysts functions very efficiently with a small staff and lives within its means on less than half of what Texas Freedom Network receives in its Education Fund.  Educational Research Analysts accepts no contributions from textbook lobbyists or political candidates and organizations yet has nationwide influence because of its esteemed long-term service to the school children of our nation.


On the other hand, Texas Freedom Network is an aggressive, leftwing, political organization that is completely out of step with today’s parents who want their children to learn foundational skills that will help them to become well-informed leaders of tomorrow.  


TFN has a well-defined political/social agenda for our school children; and the purpose of TFN is to practice the politics of personal destruction on the conservative members of the Texas State Board of Education and anyone else who holds the same principled beliefs.


TFN staffers have never bothered to read an entire textbook, critique it, research the contents, list factual errors, and go through the laborious yet legitimate textbook adoption process. TFN prefers to hold press conferences, highlight statements in textbooks that are taken out of context, and steal the attention of the all-too-willing liberal media who then go out and spread misinformation and bias across the country. 


In recent years, TFN has lost the battle over the English / Language Arts / Reading standards. The ones passed by the majority of the elected SBOE members are much improved over the old ones and stress phonics, grammar, usage, spelling, penmanship, expository and persuasive writing, research writing, and the great pieces of literature along with their characteristics.

TFN also lost the battle over the new Science standards that will now require teachers to teach all sides of scientific theories including the weaknesses of evolution.

After TFN suffered these resounding defeats with the SBOE, Kathy Miller decided to go across the street to the Texas Legislature where she found TFN board member, Rep. Donna Howard. 


Working with  Rep. Howard, the ACLU Texas, Alliance for Clean Texas, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Equality Texas, NARAL Pro-Choice, Sierra Club, Stand Down Texas, TAPPA, Texas Impact, and The Texas Observer, TFN filed 15 anti-SBOE bills during the 2009 Legislative session.


Only one out of fifteen bills passed the Legislature, and that bill simply requires that the SBOE meetings be video streamed.

Kathy Miller thought she and TFN had achieved a great victory when they managed to convince 11 Democrat Senators to vote against McLeroy’s confirmation as chair of the SBOE even though 19 Republicans voted for him. Because of the two-thirds rule, however, McLeroy was not confirmed; but an equally capable new chair was appointed by Gov. Perry -- Gail Lowe.  Lowe holds the same conservative views about education as McLeroy does. TFN has been defeated once again!


Because Texas Freedom Network has injected itself into decisions that impact Texas public school students, I need to ask parents: 


Do you want TFN (a leftwing, liberal organization that lobbies and participates in political campaigns) influencing the direction of your children’s textbooks?  Do you feel that TFN represents your views?  Do you think TFN genuinely wants what is best for your children; or is TFN simply following a politicized agenda that, if allowed to prevail, would do long-lasting damage to your children’s lives? 


To help you answer these questions, let me tell you about the people who are associated with TFN.

In 1995, TFN was founded by Cecile Richards, daughter of Texas' liberal Democrat Governor, Ann Richards.  Cecile is the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and still serves on the TFN Board of Directors.  Cecile was deputy chief of staff for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and worked with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  SEIU is closely associated with ACORN.


When Cecile left for Washington, D. C., Samantha Smoot took Cecile's place.  When Samantha left for Washington, D. C. in 2005, she went to work for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest homosexual organization in the country. 


TFN, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign work together as “triplet sisters.” 


The Chair of the TFN Education Fund is Janis Pinelli, who gave campaign contributions to Obama, Hillary Clinton, Emily’s List, the Texas Democratic Party, and Rick Noriega for Governor.


Also on the TFN Education Board of Directors is Dale Linebarger who is treasurer.  He is the Senior Advisor to Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson.  This firm started collecting debts for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2006 after a generous lobbying effort of half a million dollars to pressure Congress to hire outside bill collectors instead of requiring the IRS staff to do the job more inexpensively (Business Week, 8.25.06).  Dale Linebarger made political contributions to Obama, Ruben Hinojosa, Al Franken, Lloyd A. Doggett, Ken Salazar, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Border Health PAC.


Why does Border Health PAC sound familiar?  According to Texas Monthly (Aug. 2009), Border Health PAC gives politicians huge contributions “to order expensive medical procedures” and has come under scrutiny because of the New Yorker (June 2009) article that stated the costs of treating Medicare patients in McAllen are twice the national average. “The primary cause of McAllen’s extreme costs was, very simply, the across-the-board overuse of medicine.”  Dale Linebarger gave monthly contributions to Border Health PAC throughout 2008.


Rev. Dr. Larry Bethune is also on the TFN Board Education Board of Directors. He is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church (Austin, Texas). As stated on its website, UBC is sometimes “in conflict with the views of the wider religious community and secular society…in the 1990s it ordained a homosexual deacon.” Bethune has stated that he opposes “attempts to dilute, distort, or censor the teaching of evolution in biology textbooks.”


Also on the TFN Education Board of Directors is Diane Iresone (Clinical Social Worker) who has given political contributions to Obama, John Kerry, Lloyd A. Doggett, John Edwards, Emily’s List, Barbara Boxer, and Hillary Clinton.


Rebecca Lightsey is on the TFN Education Board of Directors and is an attorney and executive director of Texas Appleseed that focuses on social justice issues.  Lightsey worked on Governor Ann Richards’ staff and supported Democrat Rick Noriega for Governor of Texas.


Rhonda Gerson is the Chair of TFN and has given campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton, Democrat Senator Carl Levin, and Emily’s List. 


Texas Representative Donna Howard (Democrat) is a board member of TFN.  NARAL Pro-Choice has given Howard a 100% rating. Texas Eagle Forum gave Howard a rating of  8% in the 2009 legislative session. 


After reading this list of left-wing individuals who are involved with Texas Freedom Network, I hope the next time you hear Kathy Miller interviewed by the media, you will carefully “consider the source!”  She wants to demonize the people who represent traditional values and undercut their efforts to raise academic standards for our students.


Thankfully we have seven solid conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education; and we as conservative Texas parents and citizens need to support them in their efforts to put Texas public schools on the road to authentic education reform.  Three of these conservatives will be up for re-election in 2010.  I trust that you will be ready and willing to support their campaigns with your time and monetary assistance.   


Contact information for all SBOE members is provided on the Texas Education Agency's website at:





Don McLeroy (R - Bryan/College Station)

Cynthia Dunbar (R - Richmond)

Ken Mercer (R - San Antonio)





Rene Nunez (D -El Paso)

Rick Agosto (D - San Antonio)

Lawrence A. Allen, Jr. (D - Houston)

Tincy Miller (R - Dallas)

Bob Craig (R - Lubbock)





United States History Studies Since Reconstruction (1 credit):


United States Government (1/2 credit):


Other Social Studies draft documents can be found at:


September 7th, 2009

Donna Garner

Education Policy Commentator

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