The Alamo

Credit: J.Burkett Photo

Texas Board Of Education Questioning If Alamo Defenders Were "Heroes"

September 12, 2018 - 5:24 am

By Chris Fox, KRLD Austin Bureau Chief

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is reviewing the academic standards of Social Studies courses in public schools for the first time since 2010.

One issue debated was whether to remove the portion of 7th grade standards that reads “all the heroic defenders who gave their lives” (referring to the Alamo)…some believed it was value-charged and didn’t accurately describe all the defenders.

One of those tapped to review the standards for the SBOE was Stephen Cure, the executive Director of the Texas State Historical Association. He recommended keeping the theme but updating the verbiage. “The unanimous consensus was that the heroic nature of the diverse participants in the siege would be taught as part of the final outcome of the siege as it was prior to 2010.”

The State Board also heard arguments from historians who called for the removal of the standard that stated that Moses was an influence on the U.S. Constitution.

Religion in Government Professor Emile Lester from the University of Mary Washington told members of the State Board suggesting Moses and the 10 commandments influenced the US Constitution wouldn’t even pass muster in an undergraduate paper. “There’s no evidence that our founders had Moses in mind when they drafted the Constitution. In fact in two letters to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams openly denied that the Ten Commandments were the basis of our Constitution and our legal system.”

Matt Verdugo, the executive Director of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission also testified before the Board. He took exception to deletions made in 2010 to the 10th grade World History standards where the Holocaust was deleted as a major event of World War II. “Deleting it from (standards) 12 C as a major event minimizes it’s historical importance as the cataclysmic moral and human tragedy of modern human history.”

The State Board of Education will vote on the final revision of the Texas Essential Knowledge standards in November.