The Politics of Textbooks | California & Texas

Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories.

We analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas. Here’s how political divides shape what students learn about the nation’s history.

Design by Adriana Ramic

The Common School Movement

Themes to frame the Common School Movement


Three Distinct Features of the Common School Movement ~ 1840’s -1870’s

  1. To educate all children in a common schoolhouse to create a common culture and reduce social-class conflict
  2. To use schooling to improve public morality, end crime and poverty and provide equality of opportunity
  3. To create state agencies to control local schools


The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) — Local vs. State vs. Federal control of education

Horace Mann & the leader of the Common School idea

Men are cast-iron; but children are wax — Horace Mann

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The Common School:  Horace Mann and a common Protestant education

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An eighteenth-century English primer for “memorizing the alphabet and learning prayers”


Taxes to pay for public education:  The working class and the upper classes make for strange “bedfellows.” The upper class opposed taxes for public schooling.

The working class opposed taxes for public schooling



The Common School and Catholicism — Famous 1876 editorial cartoon by Thomas Nast depicting Roman Catholic bishops as crocodiles attacking public schools, with the connivance of Irish Catholic politicians

Roberts v. City of Boston
The Desegregation of Schools in the 1850’s. In the 1840s Benjamin Roberts of Boston began a legal campaign to enroll his five-year-old daughter, Sarah, in a nearby school for whites


PresentPost 1 |CLASS SURVEY

  1. What name do you prefer to be called? Do you have preferred pronouns?
  2. Hometown and photograph of you (inserted in your blog so we can connect you with your name).
  3. eeeee level and subject(s) that you want to teach.
  4. What are you into; what makes you special? Share a few “unique” aspects about yourself that would help our classroom community get to know you a bit more. Are you on an athletic team? Sing in the choir?  Are you trying out for a play? Painting? What are you planning on doing this semester in your life that is noteworthy?
  5. etc.

Fall 2019 Weekly Service Opportunities

Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland

  • JCU students in this activity assist Boys & Girls Club youth with homework assignments. Participants will also assist program staff in facilitating activities, such as basketball games/tournaments, kickball, fitness challenges, board game tournaments, and arts and crafts.

Boys Hope Girls Hope

  • JCU students will be matched to tutor, either one on one, or in small groups with Boys Hope Girls Hope Scholars from grades 7 through 12. The Boys Hope Girls Hope staff will help to match JCU students and BHGH Scholars based on the areas of tutoring need, and the JCU student’s academic strengths. This service is highly-structured, and participants should be comfortable with focusing on academic achievement with the students.

Building Hope in the City

  • JCU students tutor and mentor area elementary and middle school students in a structured after school tutoring program at Hope Alliance Baptist Church. Tutors log the material covered each week, and are paired with the same student throughout the semester when possible. Students will also share a meal to build community with other students and program volunteers.

Carroll Reads

  • Carroll Reads tutors work one-on-one with K-2 grade students on early literacy skills. Tutors complete an initial training course that includes basic tutoring strategies, early childhood pedagogical best practices, cultural competency, and information on specific populations served. Tutors are responsible for helping students process new information and refine their existing skills while providing them with positive encouragement. This program was developed by JCU Professor, Dr. Cathy Rosemary, and research has shown it to be an effective early literacy program. Locations include:
    • Marion-Sterling Elementary School
    • Shoreview Elementary School
    • Francis School
    • Thomas Aquinas

Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center

  • JCU Students in this activity work primarily with the youth program at the Domestic Violence Shelter, and will sometimes work with families too. JCU volunteers will be assisting the Youth Staff with the evening therapeutic programming. This primarily involves working with kids, but volunteers will also sometimes do group work with families and the women.

Evergreen Cooperatives Green City Growers

  • JCU students in this activity will help Green City Grower employees with the tasks of operating an urban greenhouse, while learning about and experiencing Evergreen Cooperative’s business model.

Fatima Family Center

  • Aftercare Tutoring: JCU students in this activity work with Fatima’s after school program for 1st – 8th grade students, assisting Fatima staff and providing one-on-one, drop-in tutoring tailored to the students’ academic needs.
  • Senior Center: JCU students work with Fatima’s senior center participants, engaging them in games and conversation.

Griot Village After School Tutoring

  • JCU students tutor and mentor the mostly elementary school students who attend the Griot Village after school tutoring program. Griot Village is an inter-generational housing development, where the children are being raised by grandparents or other guardians who are senior citizens.

Jewish Federation of Cleveland Literacy Program

  • JCU students tutor Elementary students at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy through a volunteer program coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. JCU students are matched one on one with students to work on reading and literacy together. The Thomas Jefferson students may be elementary through high school.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry Chopping for Change

  • JCU students in this activity will work in the Chopping for Change Program, an innovative program that provides significant work experience and training for people in the criminal justice system. Some participants will provide tutoring and class support in a variety of subject areas. Other participants will assist students in the program with computer skills in an employment readiness class. This includes help with resumes, job applications, and interview practice.

Noble Elementary School

  • JCU students assist students with homework and other enrichment activities during this after school program. This program serves many of the school’s English Language Learners.

Northeast Reintegration Center

  • Women’s Spirituality: Female students will join with the female inmates of Northeast Reintegration Center to participate in this activity to build relationships and learn together about women’s spirituality. This activity is facilitated by volunteers from the Diocese of Cleveland Prison Ministry.

St. Francis School Math Tutoring

  • JCU students work one-on-one and in small groups with 7th grade students on math homework and enrichment. Tutors are responsible for helping students process new information and refine their existing skills while providing them with positive encouragement. NOTE: Math or Math Education majors are preferred for this activity. Otherwise, those registering for this activity must be strong in personal math skills and comfortable tutoring in math.

Martin de Porres High School

  • JCU students will provide guided tutoring for St. Martin de Porres High School students in an after school program. JCU students will provide 1-1 or 1-2 assistance to St. Martin’s students who are studying to pass the Ohio State Graduation Exams. Answers and materials will be provided.

The Intergenerational School

  • JCU students work one-on-one and in small groups with K-2nd grade students on reading, elementary math skills, and homework help in all subject areas. Tutors are responsible for helping students process new information and refine their existing skills while providing them with positive encouragement.

The Saturday Tutoring Program

  • JCU students in this activity are able to select the age-range of the children with whom they’d like to work. Educational materials are provided and sessions are supervised by retired teachers. Participants work one-on-one or in small groups with children, clarifying information, guiding students through practice problems, checking for understanding, and providing encouragement. A brief refreshment break gives everyone the chance to build rapport and learn more about each other.

Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy

  • JCU students will be tutoring, mentoring, and providing one on one assistance to high school students at the Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, a unique school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District System that provides a welcoming learning environment for students who have just arrived to Cleveland from other countries and Puerto Rico. The Pre K – 12 school is designed to help students find their way in a new country with a different language and different customs. The school provides rigorous English as a Second Language (ESL) intervention classes and a comprehensive academic program.

US Together Refugee Resettlement Inc.

  • Microenterprise & Development: JCU students will build relationships with refugees participating in the Microenterprise and Development Program. The program focuses on strengthening their business plan and applying for a small business or credit building loan. Students will teach financial literacy to the refugee clients using materials provided.
  • Resettlement Assistance JCU students will build relationships with refugees by helping to facilitate cultural orientations, and self-sufficiency workshops using training and materials provided.

Youth for Justice

  • Youth for Justice is a program for middle school students. JCU tutors will help 8th grade classes research and present solutions to topics of injustice. JCU students will prepare and co-facilitate lessons with a team of fellow tutors in their assigned classroom.
    • Heritage Middle School
    • Francis School
    • Thomas Aquinas


SP2017 Student Introduction Questions

  1. Dr. Shutkin, if I am already a liaison, would I have to participate in another service opportunity as well?
  2. One thing I am curious to ask Dr. Shutkin is why he wanted to be a teacher when he was in college.
  3. Why did you go into education? What made you choose the college level? Did you jump right into higher education or did you teach another level prior to becoming a professor?
  4. Dr. Shutkin, I was wondering if you are interested in sports at all? If so, what sports do you prefer and who are your favorite players and teams?
  5. What edge does everyone hope to bring to their own classrooms?
  6. Will we be observing in any classrooms? Will we learn about certain social issues that directly affect the classroom?
  7. what, if any, large scale changes do you think we may face in the education landscape for the near future, and what impact might our society have on those changes?
  8. I would like to know how often we will be interacting with our classmates and what you will do to create a classroom environment where students feel engaged with the material, but at the same time comfortable and social with their classmates.
  9. Besides the necessary schooling/licensure requirements, what do schools look most at when considering candidates to hire?
  10. What is the biggest focus of this class? (ex. Field experience, service learning, content- based?)
  11. Do you think that private high schools prepare children for college more than public school? Why or why not?
  12. What has been your biggest challenge you have had to face while in the field of Education? How did you overcome it?
  13. What, if any, large scale changes do you think we may face in the education landscape for the near future, and what impact might our society have on those changes?