State Board of Education to consider dropping ‘heroic’ part of Alamo teaching

Sep 8, 2018 by

As controversy brewed over proposed Alamo-related changes to the seventh-grade Texas history curriculum, registration began Friday for the State Board of Education’s public hearing Tuesday on social studies standards.

Working groups of teachers and historians have proposed eliminating the words “all the heroic defenders who gave their lives” at the Alamo from a state standard governing instruction on the Texas war of independence from Mexico, calling “heroic” a “value-charged word” and saying the reference to “all” defenders is too vague and covers too many individuals.

They also eliminated a specific reference to William B. Travis’ letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” commonly referred to as the “victory or death” letter, his appeal for reinforcements written near the start of the siege by Mexican troops under Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, a former history teacher, issued a statement Thursday afternoon blasting the changes.

“This kind of politically correct nonsense is why I will always fight to honor the Alamo defenders’ sacrifice,” Bush said. “His letter and the defenders’ actions must remain at the very core of Texas history teaching. This is not debatable to me.”

Members of the working group still expect Travis’ letter will be taught, but eliminating the reference could lead teachers to spend less time analyzing it, said Debbie Ratcliffe, executive director of the State Board of Education’s support division.

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The working groups were tasked with streamlining social studies standards, responding to complaints that there were too many standards, especially individual names, to teach in one school year.

State residents can register here through 5 p.m. Monday to speak at the public hearing. Comments about the proposed revisions can be sent to teks@tea.texas.gov.

Source: State Board of Education to consider dropping ‘heroic’ part of Alamo teaching – Houston Chronicle

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