State Board of Education Begins Review of Civil War History Curriculum

Its time for the State Board of Education to re-examine the required curriculum for history, especially the Civil War, and the liberal-leaning Texas Freedom Network is calling on the board to completely scrap the 'flawed' curriculum it approved for the state's five million public school students back in 2010, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"They called slavery a 'side issue' in the Civil War," Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said. "They glorified so-called 'Confederate heroes,' and even suggested that civil rights may have had negative consequences for our country."

As the approved curriculum, Miller says these items were on the exit exams, which meant teachers had to teach them to students even though most teachers knew they were historically wrong.

"Board members claimed that Joseph McCarthy's infamous red-baiting during the 1950s had been 'vindicated,' suggested that international treaties are part of an anti-American conspiracy, and argued that Moses influenced the writing of the founding American documents," Miller said.

She says even though panels of eminent historians provided the 2010 SBOE, the hard right board members at the time 'substituted their own personal biases for facts.'

"It was chaotic and embarrassing," she said. "It undermined the education of our kids, and turned Texas into the butt of international jokes."

She says she hopes that different members are on the SBOE now, they will listen to the experts when the new curriculum is approved this fall.

Dr. Edward Countryman, a professor of history at SMU, says if anybody thinks that slavery and white supremacy were not key parts of the Confederate creed, all they need to do is to read the Statement of Secession of Texas from the Union, which, ironically, was approved on February 23, 1861, 157 years ago today.

"We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various states, and of the Confederacy itself, were established exclusively for the White race for themselves and their posterity," Countryman read from the Statement of Secession. "That the African race has no agency in their establishment, that they were rightfully held as an inferior and dependent race."

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