In an effort to “streamline” their social studies curriculum, the Texas Board of Education voted on Friday, September 14th, to remove certain figures from the state’s mandatory lesson plan — and Hillary Clinton was reportedly given the axe. The reasoning behind removing the first female presidential candidate for a major party reportedly had to do with saving teachers “time.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, the Texas School Board decision does not mean teachers must stop including Clinton in their lesson plans, but that doing so is no longer mandatory.
Clinton is just one of many famous figures to be ousted from the curriculum based on recommendations from board-nominated volunteers, all of whom are Texas teachers (Helen Keller and Barry Goldwater also didn’t make the cut). The volunteers came up with a grading rubric to rank historical figures based on their significance. Rubric questions included, “Did the person trigger a watershed change?”; “Was the person from an underrepresented group?”; and “Will their impact stand the test of time?”
Out of a possible 20 points, Clinton scored a five, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Historical figures that made the grade included Baptist pastor Billy Graham, the “heroic” defenders of the Alamo, and Moses, who, according to teachers via Dallas Morning News, “informed the American founding documents.”
One volunteer told the Dallas Morning News that the group did "not want to offend anyone" with its choices, "but there's too many [figures]." Another volunteer added, "Our task was to simplify. We tried to make it as objective as possible."
For those who disagree with the school board’s decision, the good news is that Friday’s vote was just preliminary. The board can reevaluate curriculum changes before a final vote in November.
In our humble opinion, Hillary Clinton is a pretty darn important historical figure (see: the whole first woman to run for president for a major U.S. political party thing). We’re hopeful the school board alters its decision based on public response.