The Texas State Board of Education will vote on Tuesday whether to eliminate major historical figures like Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from the state’s social studies curriculum, The Austin American-Statesman reported.
Education professionals were appointed earlier this year by the Republican-majority school board to propose changes in social studies requirements for elementary, middle, and high school students, the report said.
Clinton and Keller – a disability rights advocate who was the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree – were among the figures proposed for elimination. Barry Goldwater, the failed 1964 Republican presidential candidate and first Jewish nominee, was also recommended.
The board approved the recommendations in September but opted to keep the late televangelist Billy Graham and Moses in the curriculum.
Liberal activists and disability rights proponents have decried the proposed reductions as partisan. Other critics have criticized the proposed recommendations to include causes other than slavery for the Civil War.
An open letter signed by nearly 200 educators said the new recommendations will validate “a long-discredited version of history first promoted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to glorify the Confederate past and reinforce white supremacist policies such as disenfranchisement of African-Americans and Jim Crow segregation.”
Donna Bahorich, R-Houston, the board’s chairwoman, has insisted that the reductions will free up more time for teachers.
After Tuesday the board will have a final vote on Friday. If passed, the curriculum will go into effect in the 2019-2020 school year.