Texas School Board curriculum cuts hurt America’s future again

Texas School Board curriculum cuts hurt America’s future again

Texas School Board curriculum cuts hurt America’s future again
October 04
12:19 2018

With the Texas Board of Education votes in, it is clear one thing still holds true with the Republican-led body: Liberals are out. Not only has the board removed important historical figures like Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt from the state’s curriculum, it has also started reducing curriculum involving the government’s duties.

The removal of these key historic figures — among others — implies learning about them is not necessary, and the political bias in the board’s intent is clear. The evaluation of these figures was based on an investigative committee’s test with questions including, “Was the person from an underrepresented group?” and “Will their impact stand the test of time?” With Clinton only receiving five out of the 20 possible points from the questioning, it was apparent where the elevators stood.

Conservative pandering is also evident in the board’s choices about which recommendations to take and which ones to leave. As a demonstration of this, the board saved “Judeo-Christian values” and the influence of Moses in the founding of America from being cut. 

The major reason this matters on a state and national level is the fact that Texas is one of the nation’s largest buyers of textbooks. As with other areas of economics, being the best and biggest customer means being able to decide which businesses thrive and which ones don’t.

Having this immense amount of power in a politically polarized state makes it easier for Texas to change what American kids are learning. The country’s largest textbook publishers give Texas this power by conforming to what the state wants in most of their textbooks and then changing it slightly when they sell the same book to the rest of the country.

This is not to say that trimming school curriculum is completely unnecessary, considering the number of historical figures kids must learn about every year. But rather, this trimming should be done with a diverse future in mind — not just a conservative future. While members of the group who recommended changes to the board said none of their choices were political (which is debatable), these changes will have long-term effects on the country.

Representation in media and history is a big deal for those who have not been born white, male and into a good home. By taking away role models for some of these children, in the form of Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller or whoever it may be, it will hurt the future of America. Those born into privilege very rarely fully understand what these underrepresented figures can do to boost the spirits and aspirations of someone who identifies with them.

As the old saying goes, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” and it is clear the Texas Board of Education has mishandled that power. Pushing forward a biased plan to influence the nation’s politics doesn’t help school kids — it only benefits those pushing this agenda.

Featured Illustration: Chelsea Tolin

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Shane Monaco

Shane Monaco

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1 Comment

  1. CJ
    CJ October 05, 13:09

    Republicans will not be satisfied until they turn this republic into a feudal dictatorship, where only the rich are educated and the rest are poor, oppressed serfs.

    Reply to this comment

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