In January, almost a year after its heated debate over the science curriculum, the Texas State Board of Education started meeting to revise the state’s social studies program. The board’s once-a-decade decisions on curriculum are nationally significant. As the nation’s second-largest textbook market, Texas shapes the content of textbooks sold throughout the country.
On U.S. history, the Texas education board features a virtual standoff between two worldviews. One segment of the board adheres to the myth of the U.S. as a Christian nation. Worried that mainstream educators are indifferent to the nation’s Christian identity, these members want textbooks to put more stress on the central role of Christianity and on the unique and even divinely ordained mission of the nation. The other segment of the board is not opposed to revising the history curriculum, but it wants revisions to reflect the best scholarship.