A proposed textbook that may make its way to high school classrooms next year is causing controversy across the state and locally.
The book, title, "Mexican American Heritage" is written by Momentum Instruction. It hasn't been approved for instruction just yet. The State Board of Education will hear testimony from critics on Tuesday before making their decision.
UTEP Professor, Dr. Josemaria Herrera, reviewed passages within the book and says the work is "shoddy." He showed ABC-7 specific examples he says contain incorrect images and facts along with "racist content."
An example he refers to is a passage that states in the 1800's, Mexicans were viewed as lazy compared to European or American workers. It says this view stemmed from "a cultural attitude of 'manana' or tomorrow," when it came to "high-gear production" and without presenting data, claims Mexican workers had a tendency to skip work on Mondays and drink on the job.
"For the subject that it's supposed to be examining, which is a Mexican American the book in its way is more than interested in making sure one is depicted as absolutely a plague on American society," Dr. Herrera said.
The publisher, Momentum Instruction, disagrees. Over the phone they tell Abc-7 we can't turn a blind eye to what happened in the past.
"It was only presented as a controversial stereotype that was being used against Mexican Americans that they had to overcome and I do know one of the things that book did have an intention was not to white wash history, but to put all of the good, the bad, all of the areas of having to overcomes issues that Mexican Americans have had to face, and so that's why it was included," Cynthia Dunbar with Momentum Instruction said.
The Texas Education Agency says it was the only book submitted for the course.
If approved by the board of education, it could hit high school classrooms next year.
"Certainly this has been a controversial book, there's no doubt about that. And people have point doubt many things they believe are mistakes," Debbie Ratcliff, Media Relations Specialist with the TEA, said.
"It's bigger than the book, it's bigger than the book. It's basically a blatant, blatant middle finger to all of us and I find that horribly offensive," Dr. Herrera said.
If approved, districts can still opt out of using it. The board will hear public testimony on Tuesday then make a decision before November.