Texas board endorses conservative-backed curriculum
The State Board of Education tentatively approved new standards for social studies Friday with members divided along party lines — some blasting them as a fraud and conservative whitewash, others praising them as a tribute to the Founding Fathers that rightly portrays America as an exceptional country.
The standards, which will influence history and government textbooks arriving in public schools in fall 2011, were adopted by 10 Republicans against five Democrats after weeks of debate and across a racial and ideological chasm that seemed to grow wider as the proposal was finalized Thursday.
The document faces a public hearing and a final board vote in May.
The often contentious process has been watched closely across the nation, particularly this week as the board gathered to debate and vote on the proposed standards. Because of Texas' size, decisions by the board on what should and should not be included can influence publishers whose textbooks may be adopted by other states.
Democrats on the board — all of them black or Hispanic — complained the new standards dilute minority contributions to Texas and U.S. history.
“We have been about conservative versus liberal. We have manipulated the standards to insist on what we want to be in the document, regardless whether it's appropriate,” said Mavis Knight, D-Dallas. “We are perpetrating a fraud on the students of this state.”
But Terri Leo, R-Spring, called the proposal “a world class document” and told her Democratic colleagues the board has “included more minorities and historical events than ever before ... I am very disappointed at those allegations because they are simply not true.”...
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Randll Reese Besch - 3/29/2010
Both democracy and Republic are not found in the Bible which promotes God Kingships over "popular sovereignty.
Marty Green - 3/17/2010
I worked in social studies textbook publishing for more than 20 years,
as an editor for several major publishing companies. One of my books
was challenged by religious conservatives because, in the section on the rise of agriculture, we
did not tell students that Cain was the first farmer.
In the last American history book that I worked on for Texas, I was
allowed to use the term "republic." But every time I used the term
"democracy" or "democratic" (small d), the publisher changed the term
to "popular sovereignty." Of course, that was totally inaccurate,
because that term refers to a specific doctrine of the 1850s. I never found out why--but I suspect it had to do with an unwillingness to
mention "democratic" in any favorable context.