Barbara Cargill, a Texas Republican and member of the board, reported 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 15-member body made the decision which allegedly emerged as part of an overall effort to “streamline” the state’s social studies curriculum.
It was required from the students 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.
It was also required from the students 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.
Volunteer workgroup members who issued the suggestions to the board said the children are required to learn about too many historical members.
So, the volunteer work group was given a task to create a rubric for grading historical figures to consider who was “essential” to learn about and who wasn’t. The group would contemplate things like whether the historical figures’ works marked 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.
The vote on Friday was preliminary, but the members of the board who are elected to represent certain geographical areas are scheduled to make the final decision and vote this coming November.
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