The hits keep coming. Last Friday Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, filed a U.S. House resolution criticizing the Texas State Board of Education‘s recklessly political revision of social studies curriculum standards for public schools. The resolution has four other sponsors, all members of Congress from Texas: Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso and Gene Green, D-Houston.
The House resolution calls out the state board for disregarding nearly a year’s worth of work by teachers and scholars who wrote initial drafts of the standards. It also notes that more than 1,200 history scholars have warned that the heavily revised standards finally approved by the board “would undermine the study of the social sciences in public schools by misrepresenting and even distorting the historical record and the functioning of United States society.”
The resolution calls for curriculum standards based on the work of experts and current historical scholarship, not political biases. It also warns that the politicized standards in Texas could influence the writing of textbooks sold in states across the country.
“The politicization of public school social studies curriculum in Texas has garnered national attention. It represents a dangerous precedent of skewed and selective historical perspective that could be replicated in any state. It should not be up to any politician to write history, rather teachers and experts in the field should be utilized to determine standards of curriculum.”
The resolution does not have the force of law but if passed would put the U.S. House on the record in opposition to continuing efforts by state board members to politicize what our children learn in their public school classrooms.