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How Will New Textbooks Teach Social Studies in Texas?

This week, the Texas State Board of Education will approve new social studies textbooks. Millions of students will use them until 2020 or even longer. Some academic and environmental groups are watching closely what those books cover.

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How should students learn topics like the founding of the United States? Or what started the Civil War?

Some academic and environmental groups are concerned that new textbooks in Texas will teach those topics and other social sciences in a political or even inaccurate way.

This week the Texas State Board of Education will approve new social studies textbooks. Millions of students will use them until 2020 or even longer.

Kathy Miller is president of Texas Freedom Network, a left-leaning watchdog group.

“What the state board is requiring is an undue reliance on Biblical figures like Moses and Solomon. That still remains in the books and the publishers have not removed them.”

Some publishers have revised other sections, for example how they reference climate change.

Josh Rosenau with the National Center for Science Education says these books impact classrooms beyond Texas.

“How they write the textbooks this week is how the textbooks are going to be written when they start selling them in California, and Kansas, and Florida and New York and everywhere else. So getting it right now is really important.”

The state board will make a final decision this week.