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Education News

More Debate on Social Studies Curriculum

Wednesday we reported on the controversy surrounding proposed changes to the Texas social studies curriculum. Last night the University of Houston held a forum on the issue. Bill Stamps was there and has this report.


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The Texas State Board of Education is in the process of updating the social studies curriculum for Texas schools. The process has brought forth heated debate, not to mention name calling as some groups accuse others of trying to force a political agenda into the curriculum.

Kathy MillerAt Wednesday night’s forum Kathy Miller of The Texas Freedom Network said all the controversy started when some people involved in the process started combing through a rough draft of the document.

“And they went through the document and said things like, they’ve taken out the Liberty Bell. They’ve gotten rid of Christmas. Ok, none of it true.”

Miller says those American icons weren’t being removed from school lessons they were just being moved to different grade levels because U.S. History isn’t taught in every grade.

“So they moved George Washington where we teach American History. So he was removed from third grade and he was put back in fifth grade, so its not like George is gone. Bye-bye George, we don’t like you anymore. Same with Paul Revere and the Liberty Bell etc.”

Miller said once the media picked up on things like Paul Revere and the Liberty Bell being removed the whole process started receiving more attention. And then it grew even more controversial when it came time to decide what to say about the civil rights movement in the curriculum.

Debbie PenningtonThis is Debbie Pennington, former social studies curriculum coordinator for Conroe Schools who was also involved in the process with the state board.

“We felt like the story of America needed to be told, which meant that we need women and minorities present. So when it came to civil rights, for every face of color they wanted a white face, a conservative white face. That should be a pop quiz.”

Organizers of Wednesday night’s forum say they invited some of the conservative members of the board but those invitations were declined.