Texas Makes Conservative Changes to History Classes

Texas debates textbooks. Image Via the Associated Press

Texas debates textbooks. Image Via the Associated Press

For me, history classes seemed to be unbiased and without a political agenda. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Kansas, but when my teachers taught me about the civil rights movement, I never thought that they were pressing political views on me. But I guess they think differently in Texas.

The Texas School Board plans to make history more conservative. Last Friday, the school board decided to amend the previous history and social studies curriculum and mandated a new one. The new Texas school curriculum will modify or water down the teaching of slavery, the Civil Rights movement and America’s relationship with the U.N., in addition to several other items.

However, it’s not just the schools that will have to change their curriculum to favor; some textbook publishers will be placed under the same standard. Textbook companies that sell to Texas, including one of the largest textbook buyers in the country, will have to be of the same opinion as the new history curriculum.

The new educational standard, which was proposed several months ago, has many Democrats and education activists up in arms.

Earlier in the year, board members came to the conclusion that Texas’ history classes presented a liberal bias, but the new plan hopes to balance it out by placing more conservative ideas into the curriculum.

Don McLeroy, a board member, was quoted as saying in a statement that the current “Standards are rife with leftist political periods and events: the Populists, the Progressives, the New Deal and the Great Society. Including material about the Conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s provides some political balance to the document.”

Kathy Miller from The Texas Freedom Network, a group that monitors Texas’ education system, is in disagreement with the curriculum changes.

“When partisan politicians take a wrecking ball to the work of teachers and scholars, you get a document that looks more like a party platform than a social studies curriculum,” she said.

During the months-long debate, the board managed to change the curriculum so it will emphasize the Judeo-Christian influences on the nation’s Founding Fathers and make the school system refer to the U.S. government as the “constitutional republic” instead of “democratic.”

Though educators are infuriated by the changes, it seems the Conservatives in the Lone Star State have Texas’ education held by the long horns. While education activists criticize the board for politicizing education, the board affirms that history has been skewed to the left for years.

Via the Associated Press

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