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The new social studies curriculum, so far

There’s no reason to believe that the lunatic fringe of the State Board of Education will do anything but push an unrealistic and ideological change to the state’s social studies curriculum. They’ve made that clear by the kind of “expert” they’ve added to the committee that’s doing the review. But so far, at least, so good.

The first draft of new social studies standards for Texas public schools is out and, as expected, it contains little to stir up controversy. The curriculum standards, written by teams of teachers and academics, spell out what should be taught in government, history and other social studies classes in all elementary and secondary schools. The standards also will be used to write textbooks and develop state tests for students.

Debate is expected to pick up when the standards go before the State Board of Education this fall. Board members clashed over proposed science standards earlier this year, and the social conservative bloc on the panel is expected to press its views – including the importance of Christian values in U.S. history – when the document comes up for consideration.

Although three curriculum experts appointed by social conservatives called for some dramatic additions in the curriculum proposal, their suggestions were largely ignored by the writing teams – which pursued a more mainstream approach to U.S. history, government and other subjects. The draft is available here.

It would have been much better, of course, for those three so-called “experts” to have never been selected to serve on the committee. But given that they’re there, the more they can be ignored, the better. Again, in the end I am sure they will make their presence known. For now, at least, sanity is prevailing. EoW has more, while the Texas Freedom Network has a few bon mots from (former) Chairman Don.

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