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Lauren McGaughy @lmcgaughy
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Today, the @TXSBOE will hear public testimony on eliminating Helen Keller, Hillary Clinton and dozens of other people from the state's history curriculum.

Follow me for live tweets from the debate and read this for background:… #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE And we're off!

The @TXSBOE has gaveled in. Chair Bahorich says live stream is down, so I'm glad I'm here in person!

First up today is public testimony on the changes to the social studies curriculum. 35 people have signed up to speak. #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Some curriculum changes have gotten more attention than others.

Yes, Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton (both recommended, not required, to be taught) are on the chopping block.

But there are DOZENS of other proposed changes too.… #txlege
@TXSBOE Click here to search on database on the historical figures and groups who are on the chopping block.…

#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE At least 5 of the 35 people signed up to speak will discuss the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP.

They are currently recommended to be taught in grade 2. Some want them to be required to be taught in the classroom.…
#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Erin Miller, whose grandmother was a WASP, speaking now.

"I flew 1500 miles from Maryland just to talk to you today. ...I can tell you I am here today because of the citizenship example by grandmother and the WASP set for me."… #txlege
@TXSBOE Tom Lucas, whose mother was a WASP, speaks next.

"They were the original #MeToo movement," he says. "I cannot think of a group more worthy to put forth as a definition of citizenship."

#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE SBOE member Marty Rowley, who represents Sweetwater where the WASP trained, says he supports adding them back in the curriculum.

The WASP museum head says they have 5,400 signatures in favor of keeping them in.

#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE SBOE member Marisa B. Perez-Diaz also says WASP are a great example of citizenship.

"Following #VeteransDay, this is a pretty relevant conversation and females are a minority group. They contributed in tremendous ways."… #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Tom Lucas, whose mother was WASP, adds:

"To fly airplanes in WWII in a male dominated society, women can do anything and to short changing that message, I can’t imagine."

#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE SBOE member Barbara Cargill, R-Houston, says she thinks the #WASP will be added back in the curriculum: "This is why we have such a public open and transparent process…We need people like you and the public to point things out like this." #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Now speaking is a Baptist named Barry Brake who wants to keep Moses in social studies class as an influence on the founding fathers.

"The question isn’t did this stuff really happen…The question is what gave the colonists their ideas?” #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Lynn D. Segall, aka "Lucky Lindy," is speaking now about his mother Mimi who was also a WASP.

"My biggest question was first of all, it was tough to find out about the news about this proposed deletion through the press."…
#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Segall says he thinks the process behind streamlining the social studies curriculum is "flawed."

"I'm simply questioning the objectivity of the process."…
#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE So far today, the only public testimony has been on the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, and on including Moses in the history curriculum.
No discussion on Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller or the dozens of other proposed changes.… #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Nicole Hudgens with @txvalues says their group opposes changing Latino/Latina to Latinx in curriculum. #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE @txvalues Monica Martinez from @teainfo on proposed curriculum changes: "There was a lot of work and there was input from 1,000s of people before we got to this point...This has been almost a year in the making."
#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE @txvalues @teainfo Board members are now explaining and defending their process for revising the curriculum.
They said it took more than a year and there was plenty of chances for public comment, they said. #txlege #txed
Just walked by @TXSBOE member Ken Mercer talking to the WASP supporters. Heard him say, "No excuse. They should never have been taken out."
#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Sandra Alfonsi supports keeping this phrase in HS world history curriculum:

"Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict" in section on "the rise of independence movements in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia & reasons for ongoing conflicts." #txege
Now up is second @txvalues rep, Mary Castle, who is also speaking in favor of keeping Moses in the history curriculum as an individual "whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding."… #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Now up are Gabrielle Caldwell and her mother Robbie. Gabrielle is deaf blind and she wants Helen Keller to remain in the history curriculum.

"She is a hero," she says.… #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Robbie adds:
"Helen Keller is the only point of reference for deaf blindness. Because it is unlikely an educator, a government worker, a doctor would have any other interaction with any other person who was deaf blind."…
#txlege #txed @HelenKellerIntl
Here are Gabrielle, 17, and Robbie Caldwell. Gabby is deaf blind and wants Helen Keller kept in Texas’ history curriculum. #txlege #txed @TXSBOE @HelenKellerIntl
@txvalues To be clear, Helen Keller, @HillaryClinton and the WASP are all RECOMMENDED parts of the history curriculum.
Even now, if they were kept in, they are not required to be taught.… #txlege #txed @TXSBOE @HelenKellerIntl
Amy Jo, who comes to the @TXSBOE a lot, opposes Texans who were also #Confederate leaders struck from curriculum.
These included John Reagan and Francis Lubbock.… #txege #txed
@TXSBOE Now we have Rayford Brown, who often rails against Muslims. He starts his testimony with "This is a banana republic."… #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Teacher Karis Heise wants all founding fathers kept in curriculum and adds:

"The Bible greatly influenced the founding fathers. ...If we want to continue flourishing, we have to keep them in textbooks."

#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Now up is Alex McDonald of the Texas Coalition for Human Rights, says, "Please do not make our children political pawns by feeding them propaganda."

He wants this line removed. #txlege #txed #tellewa
SBOE member Ken Mercer says teachers believe the history curriculum is a mile wide and an inch deep.

"How do we say Hillary Clinton or Helen Keller?" He adds he knows who he'd cut given that choice. #txlege #txed
UPDATE: 'She's a hero.' Texas education board debates axing historical figures like Helen Keller from history curriculum.
They will take a vote later this week. Follow along here:… #txlege #txed #TellEWA
Looks like Helen Keller and the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, have a good chance of remaining in the history curriculum.

No one has brought up @HillaryClinton.… #txlege #txed #tellEWA
@HillaryClinton We're almost to the end of public comment on the proposed changes to the social studies curriculum in Texas.
After that, the @TXSBOE will probably take a lunch break before debating who and what should be changed before voting on the changes.
#txlege #txed
@HillaryClinton @TXSBOE Charles Kaufman from B'nai B'rith International says: "There are a lot of African countries who have never come to Israel or who have never heard of Israel."
#txlege #txed
@HillaryClinton @TXSBOE Kaufman adds: "(Palestine is) given nation state status as an observer (at the UN) and it's politics. That's what it is." #txlege #txed
@HillaryClinton @TXSBOE Palestinian man who spoke previously cuts Kaufman off, saying, "I’m Palestinian and this is misinformation."
#txlege #txed
@HillaryClinton @TXSBOE Now Roy White is pushing back against him. Unsurprisingly, there is a real divide here among the members of the public on the Arab-Israel conflict. They're trying to settle this issue here, now, at the @TXSBOE. Not gonna happen. #txlege #txed
They're cutting off White, who was arguing about Mohammed and Mecca.
SBOE member David Bradley says, "Our job appropriately is to decide whether it's important enough to have this debate in our classrooms…without trying to resolve it, which we never will." #txlege #txed
SBOE member Mercer asks if current curriculum on Arab-Israel conflict allows for appropriate discussion in classroom.

Haithem El-Zabri, who is Palestinian, says: "It leads to a very biased discussion thats based on an inaccuracy."
#txlege #txed
Up now is @CAIRHouston rep Sobia Siddiqui, who opposes:
- Requiring kids to explain "Arab rejection" of Israel as cause of conflict and
- Removing the phrase "describe the optimism of the many immigrants who sought a better life in America."
#txlege #txed
"Everything that is taught to us should not be leaning toward on political view," Gabriel Rivas, a senior from Houston, says. "It does not do us, the students, any service if we are taught the partial truth." #txlege #txed
Georgina Cecilia Perez said this young man's principal is messaging her, saying he's very proud.

"And your principal will give you credit for being here." #txlege #txed
Board will break until 1:45pm. #txlege #txed
The @TXSBOE is about to gavel back in after lunch.

Public testimony is over and now they'll debate what last minute changes to the curriculum they should make.

They can re-insert people who're on the chopping block but can't add new people.… #txlege #txed
The board is voting this week on a bunch of changes to the curriculum.

Board staff reached out to all publishers to see if these changes would match up to current textbooks and instructional materials.

They're discussing this now. #txlege #txed
Ex: Grade 5 kids required to describe the causes and effects of the War of 1812 "such as impressment...and the increase in U.S. manufacturing."
One textbook publisher (Pearson) doesn't include effect on manufacturing. But it's OK, board is told, b/c "such as" means not required.
Some textbook publishers didn't totally conform to the curriculum anyway, SBOE member Pat Hardy says, so it doesn't really matter if new changes don't match up to books. #txlege #txed
Here are the number of historical figures cut from each grade and how many minutes teachers would save not teaching them. #txlege #txed
Board votes YES on ADDING Jose Antonio Navarro back into kindergarten curriculum.

Navarro's also taught in Grades 4 and 7. #txlege #txed
The @TXSBOE really does take public comment into account when they vote. They're seeing how many people spoke out on people proposed to be struck from curriculum before voting. #txlege #txed
The @TXSBOE is now debating whether to require kids to identify four or five oceans.
Looks like the scholarship has evolved on this. U.S. may recognize new "southern ocean," while NOAA says there is one ocean.… #txlege #txed
The @TXSBOE votes to strike number of oceans from Grade 2 curriculum (which takes up back to current curriculum) b/c there's a dispute over whether there's 4 or 5 world oceans. #txlege #txed
Happening now: SBOE member Marty Rowley makes motion to add WASP back into Grade 2 history curriculum.… #txlege #txed
PASSES. The Women Airforce Service Pilots are back in the Texas history curriculum.… #txlege #txed
The board also votes to ADD Navajo Code Talkers, also proposed for deletion, BACK in to Grade 2. They're also taught high school U.S. history.…
#txlege #txed
Because someone just asked me this via text.

- The @TXSBOE is voting to amend different curriculum standards by grade, one by one, right now.
- At the end of the day, they'll take a preliminary vote on ALL curriculum changes.
- Final vote will take place Friday. #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE Board now debating whether to add requirement that student should be expected to sing, recite OR "identify selected patriotic songs, including "The Star Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful."
Currently only says "identify."
#txlege #txed
@TXSBOE "Or" indicates that students can sing OR recite OR identify these songs and pledges. #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE The @TXSBOE votes to reinsert Benjamin Banneker back into Grade 2 curriculum. The WASP were also added back in to that grade.
After debate, just one figure was ultimately eliminated for Grade 2: 18th century engineer and inventor Robert Fulton. #txlege
In grade 1, two historical figures were cut: Francis Scott Key and African Methodist Episcopal Church founder Richard Allen.
Both men were recommended, not required, to be taught and neither is taught in another grade.
#txlege #txed
Moving on to Grade 3, the @TXSBOE is debating whether to REINSERT requirement that student "identify characteristics of good citizenship, such as including truthfulness, justice, equality, respect for oneself and others...1/2" #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE "...responsibility in daily life, and participation in government by educating oneself about the issues, respectfully holding public officials to their word, and voting."
#txlege #txed
There are a couple of very vocal teachers (?) or at least super involved folks sitting in the audience who are groaning/applauding each of these votes.
It's pretty entertaining.
#txlege #txed
Board just voted to REINSERT Helen Keller into Grade 3 curriculum. SBOE member David Bradley opposes this, saying her became an advocate for eugenics in her later years. Trying to find evidence for this.… #txlege #txed @HelenKellerIntl
Board now voting whether to REINSERT @girlscouts founder Juliette Gordon Low and astronaut Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space.
Both are recommended, not required, and aren't taught in other grades.…
#txlege #txed
@girlscouts This is voted DOWN. Both Ochoa and Low are cut. #txlege #txed
@girlscouts SBOE member Georgina Cecilia Perez gets fired up about all these votes to add people back in, including Ellen Ochoa.

"First Hispanic female (in space)? Why don’t we throw out the whole streamlining effort and just add everything back in?” #txlege #txed
@girlscouts The @TXSBOE just voted against reinserting Phillis Wheatley, first published African American poet, into history curriculum. #txlege #txed
@girlscouts @TXSBOE After a short break, we're back here with the @txsboe as they debate Grade 4 curriculum standards.
Multiple people were cut from Grade 3, including Wallace Amos and Mary Kay Ash. #txlege
@girlscouts @TXSBOE (Side note: Here is the New Republic article Helen Keller wrote in 1916 advocating for letting doctors decide the fate of "malformed" babies.)… #txlege
@girlscouts @TXSBOE The @TXSBOE is now debating whether to say slavery was played a "central role" in causing the Civil War and relegating "sectionalism" to a "contributing factor." #txlege #txed
@girlscouts @TXSBOE SBOE member Ruben Cortez, Jr., says @TXSBOE needs to acknowledge that slavery was main cause of Civil War.

"We just need to do the right thing. I think I better stop talking before I get upset," he says. #txlege #txed
SBOE member Tom Maynard says states rights was a real cause for Civil War. He explains his thinking:

"The issue is still slavery, we get that. When we talk about states rights, it’s about the right of whether we can enslave other human beings, or not." #txlege #txed
SBOE member Ken Mercer wants to REINSERT requirement students "describe how religion and virtue contributed to the growth of representative government in the American colonies."

The board votes along party lines to do so. #txlege #txed
SBOE rejects attempt to reinsert requirement that students "explain the importance of personal responsibilities, including accepting responsibility for one's behavior and supporting one's family."
#txlege #txed
Okay, folks, we've moved onto the social studies curriculum for high school.
Hillary Clinton is on the chopping block here, as are dozens of other historical figures. Find out who here:… #txlege #txed
Board member Pat Hardy wants to amend curriculum to add the following language:
"Examine the struggles faced by minorities in achieving civil rights such as the right to vote, including the effects of Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan." #txlege #txed
Hardy says the board has been criticized by the public and press for not requiring the Klan to be taught even though it's in the textbooks already.
They don't agree on final language. Ask staff to draft something they'll vote on Friday. #txlege #txed
We're 9 hrs into this @TXSBOE meeting. Today they're taking a preliminary vote on "streamlining" the social studies curriculum.

Several figures have already been cut, incl. Francis Scott Key & George Patton. Helen Keller was added back in.

Hillary Clinton on next page. #txlege
@TXSBOE SBOE member Erika Beltran makes motion to add @HillaryClinton back into curriculum.

"She was the first female presidential nominee from a major U.S. political party so regardless of our party affiliations I think she is an important figure to keep." #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE @HillaryClinton BREAKING: Texas education board votes (preliminarily) to KEEP @HillaryClinton in the state history curriculum.… #txlege #txed
The board is now arguing over a section of the curriculum that requires students to "explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict." #txlege #txed
The board members are now arguing over this.

SBOE member Cortez says Muslim students are telling the board they're being harassed.

SBOE member Bradley says it's a "false premise" this standard will worsen that. He says, "the world is an ugly place."
The board votes DOWN a motion to amend this to simply requiring students to explain the Arab-Israeli conflict. #txlege #txed
SBOE member Tom Maynard, R-Florence, now offering this amendment:

"discuss factors contributing to the Arab Israel conflict, including the rejection of the existence of the existence of the state of Israel by the Arab League and a majority of Arab states." #txlege #txed
We've officially passed hour 10 here at the @TXSBOE, people! Who wants to bring me a gyro? I'm hungry. #txlege #txed
@TXSBOE "I don't know who the Arab League is," says SBOE member Ruben Cortez, Jr., who says this language is no better than the past language. #txlege #txed
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