This year the State Board of Education is revising social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. Board members turned the last revision of these standards into a political circus. They made hundreds of changes to promote their own personal and political biases.
Slavery was, to quote one board member, “a side issue” to the Civil War. In fact, slavery is listed not first or second, but a distant third on a list of causes of the war, behind sectionalism and — you guessed it — states' rights.
The "Downside" of Treating Everyone Equally?
Here’s an exercise for you: List the negative consequences of securing equal rights for African Americans and other minorities. You’re correct — that’s an appalling suggestion. That’s also what the SBOE history standards encourage students to do.
! Moses in Philly?
In the SBOE’s version of history, the Biblical figure Moses had a vital influence on our country’s founding documents. It’s as if Moses was hanging out in Philadelphia for the Declaration of Independence.
! Coddling the Confederacy
Taking up arms against the United States in defense of slavery makes you a role model? The SBOE thinks so. The board listed Confederate General Stonewall Jackson in a standard about “effective leadership in a constitutional republic.” Huh? Even worse: Jackson is listed alongside abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
A Brief History — Really Brief — of Native & Mexican Americans
The SBOE’s standards offer only a sparse coverage of the history and experience of Native Americans. The same is true for coverage of Mexican Americans
Taking Politics Out of Classrooms: Recommendations for Revising the Texas Social
Studies Curriculum Standards