Texas Board Of Education To Vote On Social Studies Curriculum

Sep 12, 2018

Supporters of the Texas Freedom Network were on hand during the State Board of Education's meeting on Social Studies curriculum.
Credit Courtesy: Austin-American Statesman

TEXAS SOCIAL STUDIES -  The Texas State Board of Education has heard feedback this week on the way social studies is taught in Texas public schools.   Both conservative and liberal groups have raised concerns over the curriculum standards, which were last updated in 2010.

Some topics at issue are how the history of slavery and the civil war are taught. Another issue: the extent to which religion influenced the founding fathers. For example, those 2010 standards describe Moses, from the Bible, as a major influence on the nation’s founding documents.   Emile Lester is a professor at the University of Mary Washington, who traveled to Texas to testify before the board. He criticized the 2010 standards. 

Emile Lester, professor of political science & 1st Amendment scholar - University of Mary Washington at Virginia
Credit Courtesy: Austin-American Statesman

Lester explained  “For example TEKS 1C of the high school government course asks students to view Moses as a major influence on our founding documents. Now as a Jewish person, Moses holds a special place in my heart, but there’s no evidence that our founders had Moses in mind when they were drafting the constitution. In fact, in two letters to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams openly denied the 10 commandments were the basis of our constitution and our legal system.” 

The Texas State Board of Education is likely to vote on recommended changes to the social studies curriculum standards today.