There’s a controversy brewing in the Lone Star State. The battle of the Alamo, perhaps the single most iconic representation of the state’s independent identity, has long been celebrated. Now some are argue that the state should begin teaching the historic battle in a very different way.
Don't call the Alamo's defenders "heroic" in social studies curriculum — education panel recommends cutting the "value charged" descriptor. But critics say its just more politically correct 'nonsense'. My FIRST byline for @dallasnews https://t.co/Srta5UGpr9
— Rebekah Allen (@rebekahallen) September 7, 2018
An advisory panel has suggested that “heroic” be removed from the descriptions of those Texans who fought in the Alamo. The recommendation was given to the State Board of Education Friday.
Currently, Fox writes, the wording for 7th grade social studies unit title reads the “siege of the Alamo and all of the heroic defenders who gave their lives there….”
The advisory panel is suggesting cutting that “value-charged” title back to “siege of the Alamo.”
Stop political correctness in our schools. Of course Texas schoolchildren should be taught that Alamo defenders were ‘Heroic’! I fully expect the State Board of Education to agree. Contact your SBOE Member to complain. @TXSBOE #txlege #tcot https://t.co/Ph9oBoBzKF
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 6, 2018
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott wasn’t pleased by the news.
“Stop political correctness in our schools. Of course Texas schoolchildren should be taught that Alamo defenders were ‘Heroic’! I fully expect the State Board of Education to agree. Contact your SBOE Member to complain.”
This politically correct nonsense is why I’ll always fight to honor the Alamo defenders’ sacrifice. His letter & the defenders’ actions must remain at the very core of TX history teaching. This is not debatable to me. https://t.co/4QADkAIZIt
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) September 6, 2018
“This politically correct nonsense is why I’ll always fight to honor the Alamo defenders’ sacrifice. His letter & the defenders’ actions must remain at the very core of TX history teaching. This is not debatable to me,” State land commissioner George P. Bush writes.
Fox notes that Bush’s opposition includes more than the language. The proposal suggests students should no longer read “the Travis Letter,” written by Lt. Col. William Barrett Travis during the fight.
Our @TXSBOE work committees have done an EXCELLENT job of streamlining TX social studies standards, however, I do not support deleting one of the most iconic letters in US History for 7th grade. #HeroesAll #txed #RememberTheAlamo https://t.co/E3LunswCrQ
— Donna Bahorich-TX SBOE Chair (@donnabahorich) September 7, 2018
State Board of Education Chairwoman Donna Bahorich is opposed to the idea, too.
Debbie Ratcliffe, spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, told reporters that the whole of the curriculum could “be reduced by either deleting information, combining standards or clarifying.”
— Texas SBOE (@TXSBOE) September 7, 2018
“That was the goal,” Ratcliffe said. “They suggested deleting the Travis letter because they think when teachers talk about the Alamo they will absolutely mention it, but not having it outlined specifically just meant teachers would spend less time on it.”
The real motive seems more in line with political correctness. The matter will be put to a vote.