Due to legislative guidance, the State Board of Education (SBOE) and the Social Studies Advisory Group have met to evaluate and provide recommendations to our Texas educational curriculum. The Advisory Group has provided a recommendation that has taken the liberty to attempt a cultural cleansing, instead of streamlining the curricula. The current Texas History curriculum stresses: “explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, William B. Travis’s letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” the siege of the Alamo and all the heroic defenders who gave their lives there, the Constitutional Convention of 1836, Fannin’s surrender at Goliad, and the Battle of San Jacinto.
However, the Advisory Group recommends: “explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, the siege of the Alamo, the Constitutional Convention of 1836, Fannin’s surrender at Goliad, and the Battle of San Jacinto and Treaties of Velasco.” “After reviewing the Advisory Groups’ rationale in excluding the word “heroic” as a value charged word and the reference to all ‘defenders’ as too vague it seems that this is more like cultural cleansing. In the context of the term heroic being value charged, I do not even know how eliminating this word “streamlines” the curriculum. Moreover, suggesting that the reference to all defenders as vague suggests that this Advisory Group has some scholarly information
suggesting that at least one defender was not heroic. My constituents and I await the release of that peer-reviewed research,” stated State Representative James White in a letter addressed to all
members of the SBOE. He added, “for several years, I taught Texas History in a public school classroom. If I had failed to convey academically the heroism of these Texian patriots, it would amount to instructional malpractice. This pivotal moment in the Texas Revolution rallied our Texian Army and ultimately led to the victory over the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto. The defenders of the Alamo gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to Texas and its people. It would be an insult to their sacrifice, legacy, and descendants to rob them of this heroic honor.” Rep. White has received numerous calls from concerned constituents not only on this issue but other curricula recommendations from this Advisory Group that suggest eliminating reference that highlight the Christian influences on our political culture. Although supportive of the SBOE and the Advisory Group’s work to streamline our Social Studies curricula, Rep. White urges the board to consider whether these are streamlining efforts or far reaching attempts at cultural cleansing. “There is nothing value-charged about heroism in the defense of liberty whether it occurred at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Belleau Woods, Iwo Jima, Pork Chop Hill, Fallujah, and yes — the Alamo,” stated Rep. White.
Please do not hesitate to contact either Saul Mendoza, Chief of Staff with questions regarding this release at 512-463-0490.
- James White is a Texas State Representative for Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, and Tyler counties. He graduated with a doctorate in political science from the University of Houston. White served in the U.S. Army and worked as a public school educator and coach before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010. During his time as a Representative, White has worked on issues such as taxes, school funding, mental health, and more. He maintains a cattle ranch in Tyler County, attends Hillister Baptist Church, and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and the Texas Farm Bureau.
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