AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas State Board of Education agreed to new social studies standards on Friday after the far-right faction wielded its power to shape the lessons that will be taught to millions of students on American history, the U.S. free enterprise system, religion and other topics.
In a vote of 11-4, the board preliminarily adopted the new curriculum after days of charged debate marked by race and politics. In dozens of smaller votes passed over the three days, the ultra-conservatives who dominate the board nixed all but a few efforts to recognize the diversity of race and religion in Texas.
Decisions by the board — long led by the social conservatives who have advocated ideas such as teaching more about the weaknesses of evolutionary theory — affects textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers' biggest clients.
As part of the new curriculum, the elected board — made up of lawyers, a dentist and a weekly newspaper publisher among others — rejected a
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