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In Texas, social studies textbooks get a conservative make-over

The Texas State Board of Education has approved controversial changes to social studies textbooks, pushing high school teaching in a more conservative direction.

Several hundred protestors gathered outside the building where the Texas State Board of Education was meeting Wednesday in Austin regarding controversial revisions to social studies textbooks.

Larry Kolvoord/Austin American-Statesman/AP

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In a move that has potential national impact, the Texas State Board of Education has approved controversial changes to social studies textbooks – pushing high school teaching in a more conservative direction.

The Dallas Morning news reports that the curriculum standards adopted Friday by a 9-5 vote along party lines on the elected board have “a definite political and philosophical bent in many areas.”

“For example, high school students will have to learn about leading conservative groups from the 1980s and 1990s in U.S. history – but not about liberal or minority rights groups that are identified as such. Board members also gave a thumbs down to requiring history teachers and textbooks to provide coverage on the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy while the late President Ronald Reagan was elevated to more prominent coverage in the curriculum. In addition, the requirements place Sen. Joseph McCarthy in a more positive light in U.S. history despite the view of most historians who condemn the late Republican senator’s tactics and his view that the U.S. government was infiltrated by Communists in the 1950s.”

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