On Friday, the Texas State Board of Education gathered to determine what curriculum would be required for public school students, specifically pertaining to historical figures. This proved to be a difficult decision to come to considering how many notable individuals shaped American history. Yet the board voted that Hillary Clinton and Hellen Keller are no longer influential enough to be taught about compared to others that are more significant or less politically correct, thankfully sparing children from the former first lady’s corrupt influence.
Given the staggering number of historical figures that students are required to learn about and in order to ‘streamline’ history education curriculum, the board gathered to determine who was still eligible for history books, which required eliminating some.
Yet that did not sit well with republicans on the board who argued for the importance of these pieces of history.
The vote on Friday was not a final count, as the official vote will occur in November. Even if Clinton and Keller are omitted from history curriculum, teachers will still be permitted to teach about them yet would not be required to.
However, the preliminary votes are admittedly telling. The suggestions to remove important pieces of history were offered by a teacher work group to which the board was to be the final judge of.
Using a rubric which measured if historical figures are still relevant pertaining to if they were able to “trigger watershed change,” being a minority, or if “their impact [will] stand the test of time,” board members weighed in.
With a maximum of 20 possible points, Keller earned seven points while Clinton only “scored a five.”
While Hellen Keller has been taught about for decades now for being the first deaf and blind person to graduate college and become a writer and activist, again, there is simply not enough time for students to learn about everyone.
As the current Texas public schools curriculum stands, students in third grade must be able to recall about 35 historical figures, fourth-graders are required nearly 70, and eighth-graders must be able to recall about 50 figures for the State of Texas Assessments of Academical Readiness test.
Two teachers who were interviewed explained that such an abundance did not promote increased learning but instead “resulting in rote memorization of dates and names.”
More importantly to some, the decision carried weight based on the values for which the state determined its students will learn.
President of Texas Values, Jonathan Saenz, clarified this is in saying, “In Texas, you don’t mess with the Alamo and you don’t mess with our Christian heritage. We are prepared to fight to protect these standards all the way to the end.”
Of course, this is something that democrats perhaps may not understand, as seen by Grand Prairie’s leftist representative, Chris Turner, who opposed the recent vote in attempting to argue that “If Hellen Keller was an important historical figure when I was in school (and she was), then she still is today. Clinton is the first and only woman to be the presidential nominee of a major party in the U.S. history. Enough said.”
However, the school board appears to be realistically considering who is relevant, both past and present.
“Local members of the Texas Legislator” were considered to be important for students to learn about. While President Donald Trump was not considered for a history book topic this time around, it was noted that “the current president, governor, and mayor” are always included in the curriculum.
While the board did make other cuts, it reasoned that they were all done with utmost sensitivity, saying that it did “not want to offend anybody.”
Yet, that is unfortunately inevitable in the current societal climate especially given that other considered topics pertained to slavery, Middle Eastern relations, and other controversies.
An overview of the board’s Friday meeting revealed that first-graders will no longer celebrate San Jacinto Day but instead will partake in Constitution Day, and students in fourth grade will no longer be required to learn about the Poteet Strawberry Festival in Texas.
In fifth grade, the board determined that Civil War history is to “recognize the ‘central role of the expansion of slavery in causing the Civil War and other contributing factors,’” and thankfully, for Texas history, in seventh grade “the heroism of the diverse defenders who gave their lives” in the Alamo is to be added once again into the curriculum.
As for high school U.S. government and world history requirements, the board voted to “reinsert references to ‘Judeo-Christian (especially biblical law)’ in [a] section on ‘major intellectual, philosophical, political, and religious traditions that informed the American founding.’”
This is to include Moses being represented historically while omitting philosopher Thomas Hobbes.
Students are to continue learning about the “German invasions of Poland and the Soviet Union, the Holocaust, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Normandy landings, and the dropping of atomic bombs.”
Perhaps among the most controversial topics considering the political climate today, the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel [which] has led to ongoing conflict” will still be addressed, and the following phrase is to be removed from the current curriculum:
“Describe the optimism of the many immigrants who sought a better life in America.”
Of course, for the sake of a well-educated generation, students should at least be aware of most of these topics so long as they remain in line with local community values, in this case, Texas, and as long as there is time for them all to be covered.
Realistically, however, there is not.
Arguably, one of the most hilarious decisions made by the board relating to Hillary Clinton is that while she will no longer be required to be taught about, former president Bill Clinton and his impeachment still will be.
Unfortunately for the Clintons, that is how they will seemingly go down in history, with Hillary’s presidential attempt being deemed unimportant.