Texas OKs More Conservative HS Curriculum
Social studies, history guidelines influence teaching of millions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2010 6:05 PM CDT
Board member Geraldine Miller and Mavis B. Knight discuss a point at a meeting of the Texas Board of Education to discuss social studies standards on Friday, May 21, 2010, in Austin.   (Jay Janner)
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(Newser) – The Texas State Board of Education adopted new social studies and history guidelines today after an ideological debate over academic standards that drew intense scrutiny. The board gave the curriculum a more conservative bent by dictating how political events and figures will be taught to some 4.8 million primary and high school students in Texas and beyond for the next decade.

The standards also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on those approved in Texas. During the monthslong process of creating the guidelines, conservatives successfully strengthened the requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers and attempted to water down rationale for the separation of church and state. Educators have blasted the proposed curriculum for politicizing education. Teachers have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically.