by Elizabeth Yates, Program Assistant,
National Women's Law Center
Of course, I didn't teach myself about the Civil Rights Movement. I was lucky enough to receive a sound public education with a social studies curriculum based on historical scholarship, not politicized maneuvering.
Students in Texas, and soon in many other states, may not be so fortunate.
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D -TX) recently introduced House Resolution 1593, condemning the Texas State Board of Education for discarding the work of teachers and scholars who cooperatively developed state social studies standards and instead adopting revised standards that, many claim, misrepresent U.S. history and are politically and ideologically motivated. For example, the new standards downplay the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement and de-emphasize historical boundaries between Church and State.
This development in Texas is especially troubling because, as the state is so large, many publishers write all of their textbooks to meet curriculum standards in Texas, with the result that other states have little choice but to conform their curricula as well.House Resolution 1593 addresses this issue and asks the Texas State Board of Education to ensure that the curriculum standards they set are based on historical scholarship, and to recognize that every student deserves an education that is inclusive of their personal culture, history and background.
The struggles of women and minorities are ongoing. How can our future leaders address their generations' challenges without an accurate and comprehensive understanding of our nation's history?