TX curriculum debates politcally charged

By: Maddie Garrett Email
By: Maddie Garrett Email

Denison, TX – Social studies is the next big subject on the drawing board for Texas educators. Experts in Austin, TX are discussing everything from religion's role in American history to which historical figures should be included in text books.

But local teachers and school districts worry that these discussions are turning into a cultural war and say they don’t want politics to interfere with education.

"When they start letting their own biases create history that students learn, that's probably when we'll start having a problem, said Denison I.S.D. Assistant Superintendent George Hatfield.

Those biases are from Republicans and Democrats who are debating what students should learn in social studies classes.

Yesterday the Texas State Board of Educators began revisions to curriculum standards, which range in topics from the Great Depression, religious movements and even Civil Rights leaders.

"As a teacher sitting here, I think oh my, this is a sad thing that we have to battle over what's going to be in our text books,” said Gloria Davidson, the U.S. History Chair at Denison High School.

Disagreements are already simmering between conservatives and democrats on the proposal.

"Trying to bring their political ideas into the situation, that's not really appropriate in our view,” said Hatfield of the battle between right and left.

Some of the hot topics are removing historical figures and Civil Rights leaders who are no longer considered pertinent, and possibly downplaying the role of religion in American History.

"The Puritans, the Catholics that came over to Maryland, the Great Awakenings the first and the second one, are very important to shaping our character and who we are as Americans, to leave that out would be doing a disservice,” said Davidson.

And Davidson says talking about all major religions has been an important part of teaching in her classroom, and hopes the proposals don't eliminate that aspect of teaching.

"I just don't want to be so politically correct that you can't even talk about religion in schools,” said Davidson.

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