Tags: US | Texas | Schools | Social | Studies

Texas Board Swamped With Flak Over Curriculum Plan

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 08:33 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were defiant Wednesday as a parade of critics came before them, most urging a fresh rewrite of new classroom social studies guidelines and a delay of a scheduled vote to adopt them.

Critics, including the president of the NAACP, a former U.S. education secretary and the committee that wrote the draft guidelines being edited by the board, complained that the proposal has become a vehicle for political ideology, has watered down the teaching of the civil rights movement and slavery and reveals a lack of historical knowledge from the board.

The standards will guide how history and social studies are taught to some 4.8 million public school students over the next 10 years.

"Of course it's political," Republican David Bradley said to one critic who complained that the process was too focused on politics rather than history. "So what's your solution? Would you support a benevolent dictator?"

A record 206 people had signed up to testify at Wednesday's hearing.

"The SBOE's suggested edits to the new curriculum reflect their lack of historic knowledge and their failure to listen to the appointed citizen review committees," wrote a committee of teachers and professors who wrote the original draft of new high school history guidelines. Six members of the nine-member review committee released a two-page statement attacking the board.

"We have reunited as public citizens to voice our concern, our collective disgust if you will, at the distorted culmination of our work," the statement said.

Officials have indicated they'll proceed with the vote, scheduled for Friday. Final changes and edits are expected to be debated Thursday.

NAACP President Ben Jealous asked the board to revisit slavery and civil rights lessons, arguing that proposed changes have watered down history.

"This has become a real spectacle," Jealous said. "It's on national news, it's on national comedy shows. Texas is a state that leads this country and they need to accept that responsibility, slow down, back up and move in a new direction towards the truth."

Jealous said he traveled from Washington for the hearing because of how the decision will affect students beyond Texas. The standards, which also will be used to develop state tests, are used by textbook publishers who develop materials nationwide. Texas is one of the nation's largest textbook markets.

Former Bush Education Secretary Rod Paige also voiced concerns about the teaching of slavery and civil rights.

"In Texas, we've allowed the pendulum to swing backwards and forward," said Paige, a former Houston schools superintendent. "I'm asking that that swing be narrower and let history speak for itself."

Conservatives defended the proposed guidelines.

"I think you've come up with a darn good product," state Rep. Wayne Christian, a Republican, told the board. He spoke on behalf of the Texas Christian Coalition.

As the board muddled through public testimony, three Democrats vying for spots on the board also criticized the board's efforts. They vowed that if elected in November, they'd work to rescind any partisan changes approved this week.

But Republican board member Barbara Cargill argued that delaying the vote would only increase tensions.

"By delaying this process we're doing nothing but increasing the amount of disagreement because we're never going to all agree," Cargill said. "It is time for a vote. It has been vetted thoroughly for almost two years."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

W. African Travelers in US Told to Self-Monitor for Ebola

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 14:11 PM

Responding to increasing pressure from the public and Congress, the Centers for Disease Control and Obama administration . . .

Conservative Group: ABC's Midterm Blackout Reeks of 'Liberal Bias'

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 13:22 PM

A study by the conservative Media Research Center claims that ABC World News hasn't covered the midterm elections in two . . .

Administration Freed Illegal Immigrants Charged With Violent Crimes

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 12:25 PM

Illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes and serious felonies were among the hundreds of criminals the Obama admin . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved