AUSTIN, Texas – History curriculum in Texas remembers the Alamo, but it could soon forget Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller.
As part of an effort to streamline the social studies curriculum in Texas, the State Board of Education voted on Friday to change what students in every grade are required to learn. They voted to remove several historical figures, including Clinton and Keller.
The board also voted to add back into the curriculum a reference to the "heroism" of the defenders of the Alamo, which had been recommended for elimination, as well as Moses' influence on the writing of the founding documents, multiple references to "Judeo-Christian" values and a requirement that students explain how the "Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict" in the Middle East.
The vote Friday was preliminary. The board will take a final vote in November.
Removing figures from the curriculum wouldn't mean teachers are forbidden from teaching them, but they will no longer be required to do so.
A 15-member volunteer work group came up with a rubric for grading every historical figure to judge who is "essential" to learn and who wasn't. Out of 20 points, Keller scored a 7. Out of 21 points, Clinton scored a 5.
In contrast, local members of the Texas Legislature got a perfect score, as did Barbara Jordan, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Henry B. Gonzalez. Students also are required to learn about the current president, governor and mayor.