Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller to be removed from Texas history curriculum

Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller to be removed from Texas history curriculum

The Texas State Board of Education voted Friday to remove seven historical figures from the social studies curriculum taught in public schools.

According to the Morning News, students were previously given an assignment to "evaluate the contributions of significant political and social leaders in the United States", including Hillary Clinton, Andrew Carnegie, Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O'Connor.

So, the volunteer work group was tasked with creating a rubric for grading historical figures to deem who was "essential" to learn about and who wasn't. The formula 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?" Clinton scored 5 on 20-point scale.

Texas third-grade students have also been required to learn about Keller, who went on to become the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and later led a life of activism.

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"Eliminating Clinton from the requirements will save teachers 30 minutes of instructional time, the work group estimated, and eliminating Keller will save 40 minutes", the newspaper reported. And teachers will still be allowed to teach about such figures should officials approve the new curriculum during the final vote in November. "We tried to make it as objective as possible".

The volunteer group also agreed to do away with Barry Goldwater and Baptist Pastor Billy Graham, who the board later voted to keep. 'Of course, Texas schoolchildren should be taught that Alamo defenders were "Heroic!" I fully expect the State Board of Education to agree'.

Although Clinton and Keller, along with other historical figures, were removed from the curriculum, that does not mean teachers are prohibited from including them in lessons. There were others, too: a proposal to remove Thomas Jefferson from the Enlightenment curriculum and replace him with John Calvin; requiring capitalism to be referred to only as the "free enterprise system" (mostly because the word "capitalism" apparently is negatively perceived), and language that softened the despicable legacy of the late senator Joseph McCarthy.

"Military and first responders are best represented", the state's Board of Education's advisory committee recommended prior to a vote on the change Friday.

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