Congrats to the Texas Board of Education, which has reversed course on the spectacularly ridiculous decision to drop Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton from its history curriculum.
The AP reported that the vote came Tuesday night, calling the moves “surprising moments of bipartisanship for members who have long waged ideological battles about how students in the nation’s second largest state learn history.” The move came after much outcry and impassioned testimony:
Emotions often ran high Tuesday, particularly when Gabrielle Caldwell, a 17-year-old hearing- and visually-impaired student, spoke about how Keller was the only connection many people have to the deaf and blind community.
“I am hoping you keep Helen Keller being taught in our schools,” Caldwell said. “She’s a hero.”
The board voted hours after Caldwell’s testimony to restore Keller to third grade curriculums with minimal debate. It also restored a previously trimmed second grade lesson about Women Airforce Service Pilots, civilians who flew during World War II and were the first U.S. women to pilot military aircraft.
The board also agreed “to slightly soften language about the Arab-Israeli conflict.” The board, comprised of ten Republicans and five Democrats, has been looking at ways to “streamline” the curriculum, which has always promoted complaints about how the Civil War will be presented (or misrepresented).
Of course, this is just a preliminary vote—they could still change their minds and kick back Keller and Clinton out of the classroom before the final vote on Friday.