Texas Adopts New Social Studies Guidelines

Steven Pickering
November 16, 2018 - 5:54 pm
Texas Flag

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AUSTIN (KRLD) - The State Board of Education has adopted new standards for social studies curriculum. The revised guidelines will keep several prominent women in state's curriculum for history while making some changes to the emphasis placed on slavery as a cause of the civil war.

As part of an effort to streamline the curriculum guidelines, the State Board had originally proposed removing several historical figures - including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller. They were both restored to the guidelines earlier this week and were included in the final guidelines approved by the Board today.

The Board also included language acknowledging that the dispute over slavery played a "central role" in the Civil War. Previously, it had been given equal standing with other issues, including states’ rights, as causes for the war.

"Academics and scholars are in accord that the American Civil War came about because of a separation over the issue of slavery," said Louis Malfaro with the Texas-American Federation of Teachers. The new standards, he says, are a step in the right direction "There were many, many educators who came in to tell the State Board of Education that they didn't want to teach a lie in history class."

Other groups are not satisfied with the State Board's decision. "This was just an extended exercise in politicians masquerading as historians," said Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller.  "If this were a classroom, they would get a failing grade and certainly have failed millions of Texas kids across the state." Her group objects to including the dispute over states' rights as a contributing factor in the Civil War.

The new standards will go into effect for 6th grade through high school next year. They will take effect for kindergarten through 5th grade in 2020.