The State Board of Education in Texas voted on Friday to eliminate several historical figures, including Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller, from the state’s social studies curriculum.
Barbara Cargill, a Texas Republican and member of the board, told The Dallas Morning News that “the recommendation to eliminate Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton was made by [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills] work groups.”
“However the board did vote to agree with the work groups’ recommendations,” Cargill pointed out. “In speaking to teachers and testifiers, they did not mention these specific deletions.”
The decision made by the 15-member body reportedly came as part of an overall effort to “streamline” the state’s social studies curriculum.
Texas high school students have been required to learn about Clinton after the former first lady made history in 2016 by becoming the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major political party.
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.
Members of the volunteer work group that made such recommendations to the board said the state requires children to learn about too many historical figures.
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 group would ponder things like whether the historical figure triggered a watershed change or if he or she were from an underrepresented group.
Clinton reportedly scored a five on the 20-point grading rubric, and Keller scored a seven.
Though the vote on Friday was preliminary, the board, whose members are elected to represent specific geographical areas, is scheduled to cast a final vote on the decision this coming November.
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