Texas Board of Education Restores Lesson on Helen Keller

Final voe coming Friday on school curriculum

Amid public criticism, the Texas Board of Education has voted to restore third grade lessons on Helen Keller that it had proposed cutting.

The board's 10 Republicans and five Democrats approved in September a plan to eliminate teaching about the iconic advocate for the deaf and blind as they worked to streamline Texas academic standards for history.

Tuesday's reversal came after the board heard hours of testimony, much of it critical about the proposed changes. That included a 17-year-old visually- and hearing-impaired student who urged them to reconsider, calling Keller a "hero."

A final board vote is set for Friday.

The board is still mulling other changes, including its past votes to cut lessons on Hillary Clinton, to preserve language about states' rights issues helping to cause the Civil War and to keep lessons about how Moses influenced the nation's Founding Fathers and the ways states' rights helped cause the Civil War.

Texas has around 5.4 million students, more than any state but California.

Though teaching board-approved lessons isn't always mandatory, board-sanctioned curriculum can affect what's published in textbooks. Texas is a large enough market that the state's academic standards sometimes influence what's published in materials used elsewhere.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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