The Oklahoma teacher walkouts — a protest against low wages and cuts to school funding — have inspired people to reveal the dilapidated and outdated state of their textbooks.
The two-day protest unfolded a week after Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma signed a $424 million tax plan, which included $50 million reserved for education funding, reported Oklahoma City local station News 9.
That $50 million, Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest told CNN, will provide less than one textbook per student in Oklahoma. Currently, she said, many of her state’s textbooks are 20 years old.
Teachers are particularly frustrated by textbooks that are often held together by duct tape, contain outdated content, or are absent altogether from their curriculum. As a result, here are some major world events that modern-day Oklahoma kids potentially aren’t being taught.
my history textbook is so old it doesn’t even have the Oklahoma City Bombing in it. and that was in 1995. #OklahomaTeacherWalkout
— lauren ♡ (@nostalgicminter) April 3, 2018
The Oklahoma City bombing
One of the worst terrorist attacks in U.S. history was the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred in April 1995 when a security guard named Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck full of explosives outside of a federal building, killing 168 people. But according to a Twitter user named Lauren, her history book is so old, it bears no mention of the event. In 2010, the State Senate voted to require the State Board of Education to include the bombing in the core curriculum, but until then, students received limited information.
One of the reasons it’s not over yet…This is a textbook from my daughter’s class. It’s a history book and the current President in it is George W. Bush. We can do better Oklahoma. #OklahomaTeacherWalkout#oklaed #oklaleg @gophouseok @oksenategop @housedemsok @oksenatedems pic.twitter.com/F5FE3JcFQh
— Jamie (@jamiebh73) March 30, 2018
The Obama presidency
Judging from a history book provided by the Owasso public school district in Oklahoma, the U.S. is still years away from its first black president, Barack Obama; affordable health care; the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden; and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which, in part, changed the limited time for filing complaints of wage discrimination. As one mom named Jamie tweeted, “One of the reasons it’s not over yet…This is a textbook from my daughter’s class. It’s a history book and the current President in it is George W. Bush. We can do better Oklahoma.”
Two Oklahoma teachers shared these photos w/ me. Their students use these textbooks. It blows my mind. pic.twitter.com/kF6Azdlgy4
— Alexia Campbell (@AlexiaCampbell) April 2, 2018
The death of Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq
The textbook The World and Its People (the green books depicted) was originally published in May 2004, which means that kids aren’t learning about President George W. Bush’s reelection or the 2006 execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for his crimes against humanity and its subsequent impact on American politics.
Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state
Sixteen-year-old Muskogee High School student Raylynn Thompson told the Washington Post that her history textbook cuts off in January 2009, at the inauguration of President Obama. Back then, Hillary Clinton was still a New York senator, and while she had been offered the role of secretary of state, she hadn’t yet started the gig.
Mom Alisha Malaska told PBS that her son, who attends Bethany High School in Oklahoma, was learning about science from a 10-year-old textbook, which likely didn’t include facts about climate change. To be fair, climate change is a controversial topic in schools all over the country, as NPR reported in 2016. However, one possible reason for the lack of education is outdated textbooks.
Our textbooks are so outdated they "talk about going to your local librarian so they can talk to you about this new thing called the Internet," says Oklahoma teacher Allyson Kubat, who's rallying with thousands of educators for increased school funding https://t.co/pB0mGjPae3 pic.twitter.com/FD8Fd4ikiB
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) April 2, 2018
Oklahoma teacher Allyson Kubat told CNN that her textbooks “talk about going to your librarian so they can talk to you about this new thing called the internet. And how to look up information on ‘microfiche.’”
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