SBOE Gets Schooled on Women

State Board of Education reverses decision to remove Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller from curriculum

Helen Keller
Helen Keller

As Hillary Clinton accepted an award for public service at the University of Texas Tuesday night, the State Board of Education voted to keep – for now – the divisive-but-dedicated public servant in the Texas social studies curriculum. In a meeting that lasted over 10 hours, the SBOE also reversed course and reinstated Helen Keller and Texas' Women Airforce Service Pilots back into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills – the state standards that instruct teachers on what students should be taught.

The SBOE initially voted in September to remove Clinton, Keller, and the WASPs from the TEKS, but reversed course after public backlash. District 13 board member Erika Beltran, D-Ft. Worth, pointed out that Clinton's status as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party made her an important historical figure "regardless of our party affiliations." Beltran's colleague Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo, agreed: "I have to give credit where credit is due. She is a significant political leader."

The board also approved a revision that identifies slavery as playing a "central role" in causing the Civil War (although "states' rights" will still be taught as another cause of the war), and on Wednesday, they voted to keep the biblical figure Moses in the curriculum as an influence on the Founding Fathers. On Friday the board will take a final vote on the curriculum.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

State Board of Education, Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller, Women Airforce Service Pilots, Erika Beltran, Marty Rowley, Civil War

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