NAACP president, ex-education secretary joining chorus against Texas book plan

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NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous and former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige plan to testify today against new history curriculum standards, contending Texas schoolchildren won't get a full understanding of the Civil War and subsequent struggles of minorities if the State Board of Education approves the proposal at a final vote set for Friday.

More than 200 people have signed up to speak during the public hearing that will cap months of contentious debate over new social studies curriculum standards for 4.8 million public school students.

Paige, who was Houston school superintendent before President George W. Bush elevated him to a Cabinet position in 2001, said the proposed standards are loaded up with ideology.

“The history of our nation and the history of the state should not be handmaidens to carry political ideology for either party,” Paige said Tuesday, adding the board appears to be too involved in establishing what details of history students should learn. “Let history speak its authoritative voice through the qualified historians and educators.”

Jealous said the proposed standards don't mention the state's secession from the Union to fight with the Confederacy during the Civil War, and it doesn't require students to learn about the NAACP....

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