The Texas Board of Education on Friday voted to remove former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the state’s social studies curriculum.
The move comes as an effort to “streamline” the social studies curriculum in the state, The Dallas Morning News first reported.
The vote, which was preliminary, came after a 15-member, board-nominated volunteer work group created a scale to grade historical figures, determining which were “essential to learn about and who wasn’t,” The Dallas Morning News reported. To determine their choices, the group asked a series of questions about the historical figures’ background and legacy.
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Clinton scored a 5 on the 20-point scale, while another figure who was also designated for removal, Hellen Keller, earned a 7.
Keller, who was blind and deaf, was known for her political activism, among other accomplishments.
“Eliminating Clinton from the requirements will save teachers 30 minutes of instructional time, the work group estimated, and eliminating Keller will save 40 minutes,” the newspaper reported.
On the other hand, several historical Texas figures — such as Barbara Jordan, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Henry B. González, among others — received a perfect score.
“Our task was to simplify. … We tried to make it as objective as possible,” Misty Matthews, a teacher in Round Rock, Texas, told the publication, which added that high school students in the state were previously required to learn about Clinton, a former first lady and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Third-graders were required to learn about Keller.
In addition, the board voted to add Billy Graham — the famed evangelist who died earlier this year — back into the curriculum.
What’s more, “the board also voted to add back into the curriculum a reference to the “heroism” of the defenders of the Alamo (something that had been recommended for removal), as well as Moses’ influence on the writing of the founding documents, multiple references to “Judeo-Christian” values and a requirement that students explain how the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict” in the Middle East,” the newspaper reported.
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While Clinton, Keller and other figures were eliminated, that does not mean teachers in the state are prohibited from offering lessons about them; rather, they are not required to do so.
The board will vote again in November to finalize the changes. Amendments to the curriculum can be made before that time.