AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Board of Education voted Friday on changes to the state's required social studies curriculum.

  • TSBOE voted on changes to social studies curriculum
  • Changes are an effort to streamline lessons and give teachers more flexibility
  • Changes won’t result in immediate changes to textbooks

Members went through each change, voting for or against. Some changes were just verbiage to make the requirements more clear for teachers. Other changes were more controversial.

The board had public comment on Tuesday, where more than 35 people spoke out about removing Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots from WWII from the curriculum. The women were voted back in that same day.

The whole process took about a year. It's the first time the Social Studies curriculum has been amended to this extent since 2010.

The board undertook this curriculum streamlining effort to save teachers time and provide more flexibility in the classroom.

"When it comes down to it, it is hard to take somebody out of the standards and say we are not going to teach them, but we did try to not only shorten them, but clarify,” Debbie Ratcliffe from the Texas Education Agency said. “We had some standards that could be interpreted in multiple ways and so, we tried to clarify those standards to make it easier for teachers to know what is expected of them."

Although there may be some things that aren't required to be taught anymore, it doesn't mean teachers can't go over certain topics. The changes also won’t result in immediate changes to textbooks, which weren't up for revision this year.

The changes will be reflected at the beginning of next school year for 6th through 12th grade.

For elementary students, the changes will go into effect in 2020 because those teachers are also dealing with changes in Language Arts requirements.