Group Of Texas Educators Suggests Dropping 'Heroic' When Describing Alamo Defenders | KERA News

Group Of Texas Educators Suggests Dropping 'Heroic' When Describing Alamo Defenders

Sep 10, 2018
Originally published on September 11, 2018 3:49 pm

An advisory committee is expected to recommend today that the Texas State Board of Education remove the word "heroic" from social studies curriculum when referring to defenders of the Alamo.

Currently, seventh-grade Texas history courses are required to cover “the siege of the Alamo and all the heroic defenders who gave their lives there.” The battle happened during Texas’ war for independence; a group of soldiers held the fort for days even though it was vastly outnumbered by Mexican forces.

An advisory committee tasked with condensing the state's social studies curriculum has suggested focusing only on the siege and not requiring the study of “all the heroic defenders who gave their lives there.”

“They said, 'heroic' is a ‘value-charged’ word,” said Debbie Ratcliffe, executive director of the State Board of Education Support Division at the Texas Education Agency.

“As you can imagine, that’s catching a lot of attention. Most of the people contacting us are opposed to the change,” she said.  

Both Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Land Commissioner George P. Bush have denounced the committee's recommendation.  

About 100 educators and historians spent months reviewing the social studies curriculum for every history class in the state from kindergarten to 12th grade. The board asked the committee to find out what could be deleted, combined and/or clarified because it has been told repeatedly that the current standards are too long.

“Educators say it’s hard to teach these classes in the time allotted,” Ratcliffe said.

The State Board of Education is holding a public hearing today and is expected to have a preliminary vote Tuesday. A final decision is expected in November.

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