AUSTIN, Texas - Is Texas on the verge of rewriting history, or just correcting it?
The answer depends on whom you listen to on the state’s Board of Education, which is poised to vote this week on new social-studies curriculum standards that could significantly shape what Texas children — and perhaps those outside the nation's second-largest state — are taught in the classroom.
Social conservatives on the 15-member Republican-dominated board are optimistic they will be able to push through curriculum changes that, according to board member and conservative Texas lawyer Cynthia Noland Dunbar, “promote patriotism.”
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Among the recommendations facing a final vote: adding language saying the country's Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles and including positive references to the Moral Majority, the National Rifle Association and the GOP’s Contract with America.
Other amendments to the state's curriculum standards for kindergarten through 12th grade would minimize Thomas Jefferson's role in world and U.S. history because he advocated the separation of church and state; require that students learn about "the unintended consequences" of affirmative action; assert that "the right to keep and bear arms" is an important element of a democratic society; and rename the slave trade to the "Atlantic triangular trade.”