Texas is almost a country unto itself. They are independent on pretty much all issues and do not tend to go the way of the liberal coastal states. One area that shows that propensity is education. And right now, Texas is proposing something very controversial.
I saw a piece of news this weekend and at first, I laughed about it. After consideration, I’m not laughing anymore. Texas is taking things into their own hands and proposing a huge change to their textbook curriculum. They want to remove Hillary Clinton from their texts. She will simply hate that.
The Texas State Board of Education took a preliminary vote on Friday to remove former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from social studies books in an effort to “streamline” the curriculum. They also want to remove Barry Goldwater, who many see as the father of conservatism, and Helen Keller. Texas just had a big blowup concerning the teaching of the Alamo’s history and thankfully that recounting of events won’t change for students.
From The Daily Wire:
“Two of the teachers involved in making the recommendations regarding what should be cut from the curriculum told the Dallas News that students are required to learn about so many historical figures that it prevents real learning from taking place.
“The group tasked with making the recommendations came up with criteria to rank historical figures so that students would only have to focus on the “essential ones.”
“The Dallas News reports that the criteria, “asked questions like, ‘Did the person trigger a watershed change’; ‘Was the person from an underrepresented group’; and ‘Will their impact stand the test of time?'”
“The maximum possible score that a historical figure could earn was 20 points. Clinton only garnered 5 points while Keller earned 7 points.”
Isn’t this a subjective way to determine who is ‘essential’ and who isn’t in history? As far as real learning goes, that doesn’t happen right now. My children learned far more about American history when I homeschooled them. We aren’t paying teachers to make things easier for themselves… we are paying them to adequately teach our children.
Hillary Clinton probably only gets a passing mention in history textbooks as Bill Clinton’s first lady. But as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, she certainly should be focused on as a cautionary tale of how not to fill that role – I give you Benghazi and Libya in general. Then she was the first female presidential nominee from a major political party and history should also cover her scandals.
Let’s not edit history, let’s teach the good, the bad and the ugly. However, lesson plans that focused specifically on Clinton and her role as a “significant political and social leader” are set to be removed, eliminating some 30 minutes of classroom time. I tend to agree with that part. She was no leader – but she should still be in the history books.
Removing specific figures from the education curriculum does not mean that they are prohibited from being taught, just that it is no longer mandatory to include them in teaching material. That all but guarantees they will disappear into obscurity.
From The Daily Caller:
“The Dallas Morning News reported that the decision, which will come to a final vote in November, comes as the result of a ranking exercise completed by 15 members of the State Board. A number of historical figures — including Clinton, Helen Keller, Sam Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and Sandra Day O’Connor — were ranked on a scale of 1-20 on their historical importance.
“Board members went through a series of questions to rank each historical figure. Questions included “Did the person trigger a watershed change”; “Was the person from an underrepresented group”; and “Will their impact stand the test of time?”
“Clinton was selected for removal after receiving just five points, and Helen Keller, who received a score of seven, was also marked for removal from the curriculum.”
A committee also recommended removing the late evangelist Billy Graham, but another committee, with direction from the board in June, reinstated the reference. Graham scored a four on their scale.
I contend that Barry Goldwater, San Houston, Helen Keller, and Thurgood Marshall should all be included. Even Sandra Day O’Connor should not be dropped. Why the sudden cleansing of social studies? Yes, I know there are time limits… but there are many grades where this could be fitted in or it could be placed in extra-credit studies of some sort.
Heck, drop some of world history and add more American history, especially on the Constitution and founding fathers. Many schools no longer teach that at all. Many Americans don’t even realize that our founding is now in many curriculums no longer required as a subject and hasn’t been for many years.
The older I get, the more important history seems to me. Our children will never learn what to avoid if they don’t learn from our previous mistakes and successes. A decision will not be finalized until November, but I would hope that Texas will choose not to selectively drop pieces of history in the name of classroom expediency.
Yes, put Clinton in the proper context. Teach children what she was really all about. Don’t whitewash Clinton’s tainted record by dropping it to hide what kind of person she was. And don’t go down the rabbit hole of historical censorship.