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Young assists in textbook approval

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Special to the News-Times

Audrey YoungAUSTIN — Dr. Audrey Young, a member of the Texas State Board of Education representing District 8, played a pivotal role in the recent textbook approval process under Proclamation 2024.

This procedure involved the selection of textbooks for science, Career and Technical Education and economics courses.

Reflecting on her initial term and the challenges faced during Proclamation 2022’s Health curriculum selection, Young emphasized her commitment to ensuring educational content aligns with the values and standards of Texas. Her lone dissenting vote in the previous selection process demonstrated her dedication to representing the concerns of parents and educators in her district.

In anticipation of the science textbook approval, Dr. Young engaged volunteers from her district to form workgroups, reviewing content to ensure it resonated with Texas’s educational ethos. This groundwork, combined with broader reviews conducted by the Texas Education Agency, revealed that numerous textbooks proposed did not align with Texas values and educational standards.

The State Board of Education’s recent decisions, influenced heavily by a conservative majority, resulted in the rejection of approximately 37 percent of the textbooks submitted. This move signaled a strong commitment to preserving Texas’s educational integrity, prompting immediate reactions from publishers.

Under Young’s leadership as chair of the Committee on Instruction, negotiations with publishers ensued. She advocated for amendments that included labelling evolution as a theory and incorporating explanations of intelligent design in science textbooks. Three publishers agreed to these terms — SAAVAS, SummitK12, and StemScope incorporated the changes.

Additionally, Young addressed language concerns in health textbooks, ensuring terminology aligned with conservative values. Despite facing scrutiny from some board members, her approach underscored the importance of representing the views of her constituents.

The success of Proclamation 2024 is a testament to Young’s strategic planning and leadership. It underscores the board’s collective strength when working as a united front to safeguard the educational interests of Texas students.

Young said she extends her gratitude to the individuals who supported these efforts and invites more constituents to join her workgroup pool. This collaborative approach ensures that Texas students receive an education that truly reflects the state’s values and aspirations.

For more information and to participate in future workgroups, constituents are encouraged to fill out a form provided by Young’s office.

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