Report lambastes Texas history standards

Feb. 16, 2011 at 10:52 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Texas' new history standards received a D Wednesday from a Washington think tank that described them as partisan and teaching contempt for scholarship.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a non-partisan organization aimed at improving educational curricula, said the State Board of Education had over-corrected from a perceived left-wing bias, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

"You have a 180-degree change in Texas, where they're trying to resurrect the old triumphal narrative in which everything in American history is wonderful, as opposed to the left-wing narrative, in which America is uniquely evil," Sheldon Stern, one of the authors, said. "In the end, who suffers is the students, because they don't learn real history at all."

The report said the curriculum is an "unwieldy tangle of social studies categories and arbitrary thematic subdivisions."

The board adopted the standards in May. They were immediately criticized by teachers, academics and civil rights groups.

At least one Republican on the board said Wednesday it should revisit the standards, the Houston Chronicle said. Thomas Ratliff said the board should "do it right" this time.

But the chairwoman, Gail Lowe, also a Republican, said the board has moved on to other areas.

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