The Texas State Board of Education released ideologically-tainted amendments to the state's school curriculum that would essentially rewrite history last week.
Texas is the largest distributor of text books, and if the proposed amendments are implemented students in kindergarten through twelfth grade could be affected.
The American Civil Liberties Union said from a civil liberties point of view, these changes not only minimize our constitutional protection of separation of church and state, but also distort the rights of minorities and women and minimize their roles in history, among others.
The ACLU included some of the proposed changes in an action alert:
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has released new ideologically-tainted standards for Texas' public school textbooks.
We need you to act because the impact of what happens in Texas will be felt all across the country. Below are some of the most troubling examples of how the SBOE wants to change the social studies curriculum. Here are the three simple steps to make your voice heard:
Learn about the proposed curriculum changes below.
Write a letter to the SBOE stating your concerns. In order to have the greatest impact, it's important to personalize your letter.
Please reference the specific rule section number related to your concern. If you want to see a full list of concerns, please click here (PDF).
Here are some of the proposed rule changes:
Rule Section Number: §113.44(c)(1)
Concern: This rule is intended to promote the idea that there is no historical separation of church and state.
"The student understands how constitutional government, as developed in America and expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution, has been influenced by ideas, people, and historical documents. The student is expected to: (A) explain major political ideas in history, including the laws of nature and nature's God, unalienable rights, divine right of kings, social contract theory, and the rights of resistance to illegitimate government; (B) identify major intellectual, philosophical, political, and religious traditions that informed the American founding, including Judeo-Christian (especially biblical law), English common law and constitutionalism, Enlightenment, and republicanism, as they address issues of liberty, rights, and responsibilities of individuals; (C) identify the individuals whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents, including those of Moses, William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu ... "
Rule Section Number: §113.41(c)(17)
Concern: This amendment is designed to portray social reforms as having unintended negative consequences.
"The student understands the economic effects of World War II and the Cold War. The student is expected to: ... (D) identify actions of government and the private sector such as the Great Society, affirmative action, and Title IX to create economic opportunities for citizens and analyze the unintended consequences of each ..."
Rule Section Number: §113.41(c)(9)
Concern: The Board wants to portray the historic efforts to extend rights to those who have been denied them as nothing more than a gift from the majority, while downplaying the social movements that truly caused these changes. In addition, the Board is attempting to portray the Democrats as the party of bigotry.
"The student understands the impact of the American civil rights movement. The student is expected to: (A) trace the historical development of the civil rights movement in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments; (B) describe the roles of political organizations that promoted civil rights, including ones from African American, Chicano, American Indian, women's, and other civil rights movements; (C) identify the roles of significant leaders who supported various rights movements, including Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedan; (D) analyze the effectiveness of the approach taken by some civil rights groups such as the Black Panthers versus the philosophically persuasive tone of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech and his 'Letter from the Birmingham Jail';(E) describe presidential actions and congressional votes to address minority rights in the United States, including desegregation of the armed forces, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; (F) describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo; (G) evaluate changes and events in the United States that have resulted from the civil rights movement, including increased participation of minorities in the political process; and (H) describe how litigation such as the landmark cases of Brown v. Board of Education, Mendez v. Westminster, Hernandez v. Texas, Edgewood I.S.D. v. Kirby, and Sweatt v. Painter played a role in protecting the rights of the minority during the civil rights movement."
Rule Section Number: §113.20(b)(7)
Concern: The Board is trying to downplay the role slavery played as a contributing factor to the cause of the Civil War.
"The student understands how political, economic, and social factors led to the growth of sectionalism and the Civil War. The student is expected to: (A) analyze the impact of tariff policies on sections of the United States before the Civil War; (B) compare the effects of political, economic, and social factors on slaves and free blacks; (C) analyze the impact of slavery on different sections of the United States ... "