Legislators writing curriculum is a bad idea

Houston Chronicle:

"AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items. The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats' and moderate Republicans' efforts to delay a final vote failed.

In one of the most significant curriculum changes, the board dilutes the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, noting that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring students to compare and contrast the judicial language with the First Amendment's wording.

The ideological debate over the guidelines, which drew intense scrutiny beyond Texas, will be used to determine what important political events and figures some 4.8 million students will learn about for the next decade.

The standards, which one Democrat called a 'travesty,' also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on guidelines approved in Texas, although teachers in the Lone Star state have latitude in deciding how to teach the material."

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