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Texas Conservatives Approve Changes to School Curriculum

HeadlineMar 15, 2010

Conservatives on the Texas Board of Education have approved a series of major changes to the state’s social studies curriculum. The new curriculum stresses the superiority of American capitalism, questions the separation of church and state, and presents Republican political philosophies in a more positive light. One plank in the new curriculum ensures that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.” In economic classes, free market advocates Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek will be mandatory reading. Meanwhile, attempts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models in the curriculum were defeated even though half of the state’s four million students are Hispanic. The legendary farmworker organizer Dolores Huerta was removed from the curriculum, as was the Mexican American painter Santa Barraza. Board member Mary Helen Berlanga stormed out of one meeting, saying, “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist. They are going overboard. They are not experts, they are not historians. They are rewriting history, not only of Texas, but of the United States and the world.”

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