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Lawmakers Seek to Keep Texas Content Out of Calif. Textbooks

California lawmakers have just sent a bill to the governor's desk designed to prevent new Texas social studies standards from reaching classrooms in the Golden State, according to an Associated Press story.

The state Senate yesterday voted 21-13 to approve SB1451. It requires the California board of education to look out for any of the Texas content as part of its standard practice of reviewing public school textbooks, the story explains.

You may recall that the Texas board of education this spring voted to adopt a new set of social studies standards. And to put it lightly, the elected board's action was rather controversial, drawing national attention as a bloc of staunch conservatives largely succeeded in putting its stamp on the new standards. The debate was marked by tussles over such matters as the separation of church and state, the representation of minority figures and the role of discrimination in U.S. history, and, more broadly, whether the school board's conservatives were seeking to infuse the standards with a particular political ideology.

For some background, here's an EdWeek story written after the final adoption, which gives an overview but also notes how critics are hoping to revise the standards next year. Also, here's a blog post with a bit more info and a direct link to the standards themselves.

Finally, this EdWeek story takes a closer look at the whole question of Texas' influence over the national textbook market, and points to some reasons that it may be waning.

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