The Texas Board of Education met this week to update the social studies curriculum for K-12 students in the Lone Star State—among the major changes they’ve made so far is the reversal of their decision two months ago to axe Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from the history books. Oh, also, Moses is a basically a Founding Father as of today.
The Moses Issue has been kicking around the education board for a while now. The crux of it concerns the fact that back in 2010, the board passed new standards for history books; the notable section on student expectations read as follows:
(C) identify the individuals whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents, including those of Moses, William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu;
In practice, this meant Moses would pop up all over the opening sections of American history textbooks, along with phrases like “Judeo-Christian values.” Predictably, this led to a widely-publicized riff in 2014 over whether American students should learn the actual history of the founding of the United States or if they should be fed an alternate history, one in which the Constitution was based mainly off the Bible and the actions of biblical figures like Moses.
The reason the board was able to pull this off is pretty simple—the Texas State Board of Education is a completely partisan affair, with conservative Republicans outnumbering Democrats 10-5. So, as much of a stink as anyone wants to make about items like “state’s rights” causing the Civil War or anti-Muslim sentiments being taught in lessons about the Middle East, the only way to change outcomes like these is for the GOP members who peddle these comforting lies to be voted out at the end of their four-year terms.
Until then, if you’re a student in Texas now and want to pass social studies, remember that Moses is in and Thomas Hobbes is out. Wonderful dimension we live in, huh?