CFI Commends House Resolution on Texas Curriculum Revisions

August 10, 2010

The Center for Inquiry today joined 22 other educational and advocacy groups in a joint letter commending U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson for introducing a House Resolution criticizing the Texas State Board of Education’s political meddling with the state’s social studies curriculum standards.

The Resolution Johnson introduced, H. Res. 1593, charges that the State Board “disregarded many academically based recommendations and approved politically biased standards within the curriculum that are outside of mainstream scholarship.”

The joint letter noted that the Texas State Board of Education had
approved curriculum standards that are
“academically unsound and politically biased,” in that they minimize the
struggle surrounding the civil rights
movement and call into question the validity of the First Amendment’s
separation of church and state.  The letter further noted, “The
politicization of the process by which curriculum standards are adopted
in Texas has garnered national attention and has set a dangerous
precedent that we fear could be repeated in other places. Therefore, we
appreciate your efforts to draw attention to this problem. We agree that
it should not be up to any politician to write history; instead
teachers and experts in the field should be utilized to determine
curriculum standards.”

The letter continued, “Emphasizing that academic experts, rather than politicians, should develop curriculum standards that are clear, informed, and inclusive will help ensure that our students learn accurate history and acquire the analytical skills needed for success in college and the workforce.”

Other groups signing the letter include the American Federation of Teachers, Americans for Religious Liberty, American Association of University Women, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Anti-Defamation League, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Catholics for Choice, Hindu American Foundation, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Interfaith Alliance, National Alliance of Black School Educators, NAACP, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Council of La Raza, National Council of Jewish Women, National Education Association, National Women’s Law Center, People For the American Way, Secular Coalition for America, Texas Faith Network, Texas Freedom Network and the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries.