AUSTIN, Texas — Parents, teachers and activists lined up Wednesday for the chance to help shape the way history — topics from the Roman Empire to Texas cosmetics queen Mary Kay Ash — will be taught to millions of Texas children for the next decade.
The State Board of Education began taking testimony ahead of a tentative vote later this week on new social studies curriculum standards that will serve as the framework in Texas classrooms. Board members are still crafting amendments for consideration before the tentative vote, expected Thursday. The 15-member board won’t adopt final standards until March. The curriculum it chooses will be the guideposts for teaching history and social studies to some 4.8 million K-12 students for 10 years. The standards will be used to develop state tests and by textbook publishers who develop material for the nation based on Texas, one of the largest markets. In early testimony, the board was urged to include more influential Mexican Americans in the nation’s history and to further acknowledge Sikhism as a major world religion. Fifteen-year old Harsimran Singh, who attends Round Rock High School, said the lack of understanding about his religion is "dehumanizing” and implored the board to require more discussion of the religion that mandates he wear a turban. "I would like other people to know that I’m not Osama bin Laden,” Singh said. Education Station blog