Miller Awaits Continued Debate on Social Studies Standards at Board of Education Meeting

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Alexis DeLee at (512) 633-2620

Miller awaits continued debate on social studies standards at
Board of Education Meeting

(Austin) – Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, member of State Board of Education, District 12, is looking forward to the continued debate on the State’s social studies standards this week at a full meeting of the Board.  The debate will focus on whether a proposed draft of the new standards removes or changes significant historical references.

“I am all in favor of presenting a more balanced and well-rounded illustration of our history, but we cannot allow it to be rewritten,” Tincy Miller said. “We have a lot to be proud of when it comes to the ideas of our forefathers, and we must maintain those in our school curricula.”

The concern about the new standards was first examined at the Board’s meeting in March when Brooke Dollens Terry of the Texas Public Policy Foundation brought the issue to light. In her public testimony, she identified places where individualism, free enterprise system and personal responsibility were changed or removed from the social studies textbooks. Terry also pointed out that references to Daniel Boone, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan and Robinson Crusoe were removed. The Committee on Instruction considered it last month and made recommendations to the full Board.

The Instruction Committee supported maintaining traditional American values as part of the curriculum. Additionally, it recommended that the State Board of Education’s panel of social studies experts assess the standards and go over them one-by-one at the Board’s meeting in July.

The Board meeting will take place this week from Wednesday, May 20 through Friday, May 22. Discussion of social studies standards will occur at the Thursday morning portion of the meeting. The career and technology curriculum will be discussed on Wednesday afternoon. All action items will have a final vote on Friday. The Board’s Committee on School Finance and Permanent School Fund, the Committee on Instruction and the Committee on School Initiatives will also meet this week while the Board is in Austin.