History and the Texas Board of Education

A recent Wall Street Journal article chronicles the debate taking place over history standards in Texas. (See commentary here and here). It seems that the Texas Board of Education is revamping their social studies curriculum and they have called upon some “experts” to help them. The conservatives on the board (which, according to the Journal article, are in the majority) have nominated three outside evaluators to critique the existing standards and suggest changes. None of these reviewers are historians. Daniel Driesbach, a professor of public affairs at American University, is a well-respected scholar of religion and the American founding era. The other two reviewers, David Barton and Peter Marshall, are not scholars. Barton is the president and founder of Wallbuilders, an organization designed to promote the idea that America is a Christian nation. Marshall, a New England evangelical minister, is the co-author of The Light and the Glory, a very popular providential history of the United States.

The reports of all three of these men, along with the reports of the three historians chosen by the moderate and liberal members of the Board, are available on-line at the Texas Education Agency website.

Since I am at work on a book about Christian America, I thought it might be useful to blog a bit about these reports. Stay tuned.

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