Texas Parents Win Another Round in Fight to Block Progressive Changes to Social Studies

Last minute effort to insert gender and racial content back into the classroom narrowly fails

Despite amendments that could have derailed parents’ fight against gender, sexual and racial ideologies, the Texas education board voted Friday to postpone and reassess controversial changes to the state’s social studies curriculum.

On Tuesday, a committee of the entire board voted to shelve controversial changes to social studies until 2025 after an outcry from conservative parents.

More than 100 people, mainly conservatives, signed up to speak on the social studies curriculum. Parents were also concerned that the social studies curriculum was leaving out Texas and American exceptionalism.

Texas parents showed up to speak against changes in the social studies curriculum at a State Board of Education meeting in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2022. (Darlene McCormick Sanchez/The Epoch Times)

At the general meeting on Friday, the board finalized those recommendations they approved on Tuesday. They voted to move forward with only social studies changes that would satisfy requirements for civics outlined in Senate Bill 3, which also banned Critical Race Theory in schools.

Also, board members approved a framework starting point for kindergarten-8th grade social studies and agreed to rethink the social studies framework and delay any curriculum changes for two years.

Rebecca Clark, executive director for County Citizens Defending Freedom in Fort Bend County, attended the Tuesday hearing. She was pleased to hear of the final vote but warned conservative parents to remain vigilant against the progressive agenda.

“This was a victory for Texas children and, truthfully, for all children in America,” she told The Epoch Times via text. “It was just one battle in the war for our kids.”

Conservative parents objected to students learning about the intersectionality of (gay) pride, civil rights, and other movements instead of focusing on improving reading, writing, and math skills.

Other changes included calling the Texas Rangers “an instrument of oppression” during the clash between Texas Rangers and Mexican Americans and immigrants during the Mexican Revolution. World geography at the high school level included the “Gender Inequality Index” and the “World Happiness Report.”

Mary Castle, who spoke for Texas Values, noted that “In God We Trust” had been removed from social studies. She later told The Epoch Times on Tuesday her group began monitoring the social studies changes in what appeared to be a more rushed process than in the past.

Democrats Rally

Democrats on the State Board of Education railed against scrapping progressive social studies changes offered by workgroups of teachers and professors. They objected to kicking the changes down the road when a more conservative board was likely to take office.

Several professors and teachers in favor of the progressive changes spoke on Tuesday, saying that adding concepts of gender and LGTBQ made Texas more inclusive. They were critical of “whitewashing” the history of slavery and race relations. Speakers argued a global view of history was necessary and urged the board to move forward.

The changes seemed headed for approval until about a week ago, when conservatives began sounding the alarm, sending board members thousands of emails and phone calls.

In a last-minute effort that failed on Friday, Democrat board member Marisa Perez-Diaz proposed to keep world cultures in 6th grade while combining Texas and U.S. history in 7th and 8th grades using new progressive standards. Perez-Diaz said she was “quite angry” and lamented that the board wasn’t “honoring the voices of our social studies experts.”

Will Hickman, a Republican board member, objected, saying parents and teachers who contacted him were against watering down Texas history by combining it with U.S. history.

In a close vote, Republican Matt Robinson sided with Democrats on using the progressive standards, with a 7 to 7 tie vote, which caused the motion to fail.

Julie Pickren, running for State Board of Education in District 7 to replace Robinson, told The Epoch Times Friday’s final vote was a victory for Texas and America.

“Texas is exceptional. America is exceptional,” she said, adding that now children will be taught the successes of their state and country instead of focusing on failures.


Darlene McCormick Sanchez reports for The Epoch Times from Texas. She writes on a variety of issues with a focus on Texas politics, election fraud, and the erosion of traditional values. Before writing for The Epoch Times, she worked as an investigative reporter and covered crime, courts, and government for newspapers in Texas, Florida, and Connecticut. Her work on The Sinful Messiah series, which exposed Branch Davidians leader David Koresh, was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting in the 1990s.


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