SACRAMENTO — A California education panel on Thursday recommended that 10 families of textbooks receive the state’s blessing after incorporating dozens of changes requested by LGBT groups and Hindus.
The Instructional Quality Commission rejected two textbook families, saying the publisher submitted more than 1,000 pages of changes during a process that should include only include minor edits.
The State Board of Education will make the final decision in November about which textbooks comply with state curriculum standards and earn the state’s recommendation for use in kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms.
To earn the state’s recommendation, books must comply with a detailed framework published last summer, which reflects a 2011 state law that requires teaching about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
LGBT groups had said several textbooks should be rejected because they didn’t do enough to incorporate LGBT people and their accomplishments.
Renata Moreira of the LGBT advocacy group Our Family Coalition said publishers agreed to changes that improve the textbooks, but some still lack depictions of LGBT families. “We are pleased to have worked with the publishers, most of whom collaborated in the edits and were very much interested in doing the right things,” Moreira said.
Many of the changes approved by the panel centered on depictions of Hindus. More than 100 Hindus said some of the textbooks perpetuated stereotypes about their religion and India, in part by focusing too much on poverty and India’s caste system.
The books should include Hindus’ positive contributions to world history and culture, such as yoga, they said.