As part of an effort to "streamline" the social studies curriculum in Texas, the State Board of Education voted on Friday to change what students in every grade are required to learn in the classroom. Amendments can be made to the curriculum before a final vote is held in November.
Instead the board unanimously voted to include this revised language to the seventh-grade Texas history standards: "Explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, the siege of the Alamo, William B. Travis's letter 'To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World, ' and the heroism of the diverse defenders who gave their lives there; the Constitutional Convention of 1836; Fannin's surrender at Goliad; and the Battle of San Jacinto". Teachers told the outlet that students have too many figures to learn about that it just turns the studies into memorizing. The 15-member group who developed the recommendation created a rubric that was used to identify which historical figures are "essential" for students to learn about and which ones are not. Eliminating Clinton from the requirements will save teachers 30 minutes of instructional time, the work group estimated, and eliminating Keller will save 40 minutes.
Removing figures from the curriculum wouldn't prevent teaching about them, but would mean doing so is not mandatory.
This isn't the first time curriculum decision have been called into question in the Lone Star State.
Hillary Clinton is now part of the Texas curriculum because she was the first woman to become to be nominated for the role of president by a major political party. Items on that rubric included whether a figure "triggered a watershed change", whether they "represented an underrepresented group", and whether their impact will "stand the test of time".
Curiously, however, this rubric gave flawless scores to local members of the Texas Legislature.
Clinton being the first lady to bustle for president and Keller's accomplishments as a deaf and blind individual apparently don't qualify.
As part of its assessment, each historical figure was given a numerical importance rating from 1 to 20 by committee members, according to the newspaper.
Amend section on the Civil War to recognize the "central role of the expansion of slavery in causing the Civil War and other contributing factors including sectionalism and states' rights".