Randy Osborne Leads Fight Against Pearson Published Islam-Biased Textbook in Marion County

December, 2013

Randy Osborne, lobbyist for Florida Eagle Forum, strategist for the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition and chairman of the Marion County Republicans, is taking on the important issue of religious bias in student textbooks.  The global publishing giant Pearson who is deeply involved in imposing Common Core textbooks and tests, is the publisher of World History.  This 10th grade textbook covers Islam for 36 pages and gives a paragraph each to Judaism and Christianity.  In excerpts from interviews in the Ocala Star Banner Mr. Osborne highlights the problems with this controversial text and why he came forward:

Randy Osborne, chairman of the local Republican Party, told the board that the book's 36 pages about Islam were actually a "propagation" of the world's second biggest religious faith.

"It's something we will not tolerate in Marion County," Osborne said...

...Osborne said he came forward because School Board member Nancy Stacy had publicly taken exception to the use of the book back in the spring, and that her concerns had been ignored by the rest of the panel.

"We are going beyond asking," he added in saying the School Board should yank the textbook from classrooms, or add a supplement to it.
Osborne urged the board to hold a workshop on "World History" within 30 days, meaning before Christmas. Others at the meeting echoed Osborne's comments, sometimes as part of a wider broadside against the Common Core education standards

Marion county School Board member Nancy Stacy added other significant information to the situation:
In her comments, Stacy said the issue was not just that "World History" appeared to be one-sided for Islam but that its information was incorrect.

She did not specify which parts were wrong. She only noted that the publisher agreed to make changes to the text after Jewish leaders in Palm Beach County complained. Stacy also pointed out that family members of the late Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi owned shares in Pearson.

It is important to note that Palm Beach County refused to pay for the book until changes were made and Pearson complied.  Besides Marion and Palm Beach counties, this textbook has caused problems in Volusia, Brevard, and Miami-Dade counties.  Miami-Dade completely rejected it.  The Palm Beach and Miami-Dade efforts were spear-headed by the group Citizens for National Security.

The Pearson World History text is actually the most conservative of the three adopted by the state of Florida.  If a state like Florida with a Republican and putatively conservative legislature and executive branch cannot obtain a balanced, accurate discussion of world religions in the textbooks it adopts, what will it be like under the Common Core standards that are controlled and promoted by national or federal  level, private, and unaccountable interests?

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