Texas Board decides to keep Christmas in textbooks





AUSTIN — Christmas will stay in Texas textbooks, State Board of Education members said Thursday while reviewing early recommendations for new social studies standards.

The board will not approve the new curriculum standards for public schools until next year, but wanted to assure constituents they will not accept a recommendation to yank Christmas.

“We have heard quite significant feedback from parents, from people who are very disturbed that we are not going to continue keeping Christmas in our standards. No one on this board intends to take out Christmas,” said Gail Lowe, of Lampasas, chair of the 15-member board...

... After board members settled the Christmas controversy, the focus shifted to which historical figures and contemporary leaders to include.

More than 50 people mentioned in current textbooks are not included in the proposed standards, including Carl Sagan, Colin Powell, Nathan Hale, Neil Armstrong, Eugene Debs, John Steinbeck and Mother Teresa.

Some board members argued for more accomplishments of minorities to be included in the final version. An early recommendation to remove the late farm workers leader Caesar Chavez and the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall provoked a strong reaction. Both are expected to remain in the textbooks.

“We can't satisfy everyone,” said board member Barbara Cargill, of The Woodlands. “We don't want to burden textbooks with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of names … As we go through this process we will see a lot more minorities than we ever have been before, so that's a positive.”


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