In May we reported that a member of a social studies curriculum writing team was complaining about an “overrepresentation of minorities” in the curriculum standards. That member, Bill Ames, is a political activist appointed by Don McLeroy, who at the time was chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. Now a teacher, Kimberly Griffith, who is also a member of one of the social studies writing teams, weighs in on Mr. Ames’ comments in a response in the same thread. Our original post and the comments from Mr. Ames and Ms. Griffith are available here.
We are noting the exchange between Mr. Ames and Ms. Griffith because it has become clear — based also on comments made by state board members and by so-called “experts” appointed by those board members — that what our public schools teach about the contributions of minorities in American history will be a key topic of debate in the revision of the social studies curriculum. Frankly, we are seeing an irresponsible and deceptive campaign by social conservatives on and off the state board to persuade the general public that “radicals” are somehow using “political correctness” and “multiculturalism” to water down the social studies curriculum and undermine patriotism.
Three cheers for Ms. Griffith and other hard-working teachers in this state who are trying to do their jobs despite the far right’s efforts to politicize their classrooms.