Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically.
The curriculum dispute contributed to McLeroy’s defeat in the March state Republican primary.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said school officials “should keep politics out” of curriculum debates.
“We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn’t fit with their particular views,” Duncan said in a statement. “Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum.”
After the vote, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas urged the state Legislature to place more control over the board.
“At the end of three long days, the State Board of Education has amended, re-amended and approved curriculum standards that are more ideological than ever, despite pleas to not politicize what is taught to Texas school children,” said the state ACLU’s executive director, Terri Burke.
At least one lawmaker vowed legislative action to “rein in” the board.
“They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms,” said Rep. Mike Villareal, a San Antonio Democrat. “They fail to understand that we don’t want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists.”
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