History curriculum in Texas remembers the Alamo but could soon forget Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller.
As part of an effort to “streamline” the social studies curriculum in public schools, the State Board of Education voted Friday to adjust what students in every grade are required to learn in the classroom. Among the changes, board members approved the removal of several historical figures, including Clinton and Keller, from the curriculum.
Board member Barbara Cargill, a Republican, told the newspaper that work groups recommended removing Clinton and Keller.
“In speaking to teachers and testifiers, they did not mention these specific deletions,” Cargill said.
So why didn’t Clinton, Keller and several dozen other historical figures make the cut?
The Dallas Morning News spoke with two teachers from the group of board-nominated volunteers that made the recommendations. Both said the state required students to learn about so many historical figures that it resulted in rote memorization of dates and names instead of real learning.
The 15-member work group came up with a rubric for grading every historical figure to rank who is “essential” to learn and who isn’t. The formula asked questions like, “Did the person trigger a watershed change”; “Was the person from an underrepresented group”; and “Will their impact stand the test of time?”
Out of 20 points, Keller scored a 7 and Clinton scored a 5. Eliminating Clinton from the requirements will save teachers 30 minutes of instructional time, the work group estimated, and eliminating Keller will save 40 minutes.
All of which makes for a sad reflection on her legacy, given that she was once first lady, secretary of state and first female presidential nominee from a major political party — that she leaves so little an impression may explain she lost in 2016.
Removing figures from the curriculum doesn’t mean that they cannot be taught in the classroom, just that it’s not mandatory and the move will not affect textbooks or other instructional material.
He has also resigned from the Dallas City Council.
The 66-year-old Caraway, who has also served as the city’s interim mayor, admitted to accepting $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks from two key figures in the scandal that last year brought down the school bus agency Dallas County Schools; Bob Leonard, who owned the stop-arm camera company that took millions from DCS; and Slater Swartwood Sr., an associate of Leonard’s, reports NBC-DFW
“Over the past several weeks, through a lot of prayer and soul searching, I have decided that I must take responsibility for my actions,” Caraway wrote in his resignation letter, addressed to City Secretary Bilirae Johnson. “I have dedicated much of my life to serving others, but have never claimed to be without sin. I am truly sorry that I must end my career as an elected official because I betrayed the public’s trust that I worked so very hard to earn.”
Caraway is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14 and faces seven years in federal prison under his agreement.
Leonard also pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge. Court documents filed Thursday show Leonard cut his deal with federal prosecutors in June. Caraway’s plea agreement was signed Aug. 2.
Caraway, a longtime council member from Oak Cliff who grew up and still lives near Cedar Crest Golf Course, admitted to prosecutors that the $390,000 he took from Leonard for “real estate consulting” was “excessive.” Court documents show that “Caraway knew that some of the money was to secure his political influence due to his position” as a council member.
Caraway acknowledged taking that money to “further Leonard’s business interests.” He did that by attempting to persuade the council to vote in support of Leonard’s firm Force Multiplier Solutions, the school bus camera company.
“Early on, Caraway told Leonard that he supported the stop-arm program and asked Leonard to make political contributions,” according to court documents. “Leonard made these contributions because Caraway asked and knew that Caraway supported” the program.
According to Leonard’s factual resume, entered with his plea agreement, Caraway made it clear he could be influenced. At one point, Leonard said, Caraway told him, “I am the City Council.”
According to the plea agreement, if the court accepts the deal cut with federal prosecutors, Caraway will agree to pay a six-figure fine, as well as almost $69,000 owed to the Internal Revenue Service.
“There’s plenty I’d like to say,” Caraway said when reached Thursday morning, but he said he couldn’t comment. He said to speak instead to his attorney, Michael Payma. Payma was not immediately available, but his office said he will release a statement later Thursday afternoon.
araway has not been seen at Dallas City Hall since the council returned from its summer break on Aug. 1. He told several colleagues he was severely ill.
“Today is a day of both reckoning and reconciliation for the city of Dallas and its citizens,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said Thursday.
She called it a “major victory in the battle against public corruption.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 17th, 2018