After months of debate and national controversy, the Texas State Board of Education Friday afternoon passed new high school textbook standards that recast U.S. history from the point of view of a movement conservative.
The AP reports on the 9-5 vote by the Republican-dominated board:
The partisan board has amended or watered down the teaching of the civil rights movement, slavery, America’s relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items. … They dictate how political events and figures will be taught to some 4.8 million schoolchildren in Texas and beyond for the next decade.
Among other things, the standards state that students must “discuss alternatives regarding long term entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, given the decreasing worker to retiree ratio.” Another clause says students must “describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association.”
Check out TPMmuckraker’s primer on how we got to this point, beginning with the initial board hearings last September, here.
While some education experts believe that because of Texas’ large size, publishers will tailor textbooks to the state’s standards and students around the U.S. will get the same texts. But Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Thursday students in other states should not be concerned.
Here’s how the board meeting opening this morning, with Republican board member Cynthia Dunbar offering an invocation. “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses. Whether we look to the first charter of Virginia, or the charter of New England … the same objective is present: a Christian land governed by Christian principles,” she says.
Here is more video of the board today, discussing whether students should be required to “evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U. S. sovereignty.” Don McLeroy explains that institutions like the U.N. undermine U.S. sovereignty. After a couple tepid objections from less conservative members, the motion carries. Via the Texas Freedom Network: