Texas education decisions impact nation

TYLER, TX (KTRE) - It is a decision that will affect millions of students for the next decade. Friday, the State Board of Education adopted new social studies, history and economic curriculum. The vote follows three days of emotional testimonies and debate. The eyes of the nation were on Texas as they voted on new standards for textbooks.

"Texas is the largest textbook publishing state," said Judy Terry, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum at Jacksonville ISD.

"What goes into textbooks in Texas is going to affect 90% of other states in the United States," said State Representative Leo Berman.

The board, long led by social conservatives, has disputed over social studies standards for months. Berman says panel conservatives want to highlight Christian values in American history.

"I personally believe that political correctness is killing our country," said Berman. "Our rights come from God. Those are the things that should be in our textbooks"

The amendment to ensure that kids were taught the country was founded on religious freedom failed.

Terry says another hot topic was who to add and take out of the books.

"Lots of history has happened since the last time they were written so when they go in and start adding and when they include these people they scratch a name out," said Terry.

"As long as we don't exclude people who actually founded our country...George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin," said Berman.

Hundreds of other topics were discussed and altered, but Terry remains confidant in the state's decision.

"Social studies at TEA tells us the curriculum is really good, really strong," said Terry. "They are leaving everything in that should be."

The board will make a final vote on the new standards in May. It will take textbook companies at least a year to make the changes.

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