Elgin board member says potential textbook has liberal bias
Jeanette Ward, a member of Elgin's U-46 Board of Education, voted against the inclusion of the textbook "Macgruder's American Government" for the district's seventh- and eighth-grade social studies curriculum recently, arguing that it promotes racism and sexism and contains "pervasive liberal bias."
“It is breathtakingly biased and smacks of racism against white males," she told the Kane County Reporter.
One example she cited was from Topic 9, Lesson 2, Text 2:
“White Americans have been historically reluctant to yield to nonwhite Americans a full and equal place in the social, economic, and political life of this nation. Over time, the principal targets of that ethnic prejudice have been African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans. The white-male-dominated power structure has also been slow to recognize the claims of women to an equal place in American society," Ward recited.
She said another excerpt reads: “Women and minorities often encounter difficulties in getting raises and promotions, as experience sometimes referred to as reaching a ‘glass ceiling.’”
Ward expressed her concern about the effect such a curriculum could have on children.
“Instead of presenting a balanced view, it teaches students a skewed view of history, economics and the role of race in America and the world," she said.
The Macgruder texts include lessons in social studies, economics and civics, all of which Ward said are "important subjects that should be taught in a balanced manner."
Ward urged the use of an alternative text, McGraw Hill's "Discovering Our Past: A History of the United States-Early Years."
She said it offers “good primary sources and reasonably accurately presents our country’s founding.”
Ward and fellow board member Cody Holt voted against the Macgruder curriculum in February.
“At least two of my colleagues on the board consistently accuse me of ‘censorship’ and harboring a desire to ‘burn books’ when I consistently vote ‘no’ on biased resources,” she said. “I want resources for our children that are unbiased and present both sides of controversial issues. When I vote ‘no,’ that is the reason I vote ‘no’: that the resources presented to me for a vote are not unbiased. When one side of the ideological spectrum wants only one view presented in what is taught to children, is that not censorship?”