"Texas governs 46 or 47 states."
Professor James Kracht, Texas A&M University
As quoted in the New York Times on the influence of Texas curriculum standards nationwide
(Austin, Texas) - The fight to include education on Sikhs in a major milestone last week. With the Coalition and community playing an active role, Texas Board of Education members again considered whether the state curriculum should include information on Sikhs during hearings from March 10 to March 12 in Austin, Texas.
At this point, it seems very likely that Sikhism will be included in 3 areas: 6th grade, World Geography, and World History. Once the draft of the curriculum standards is made available for public review on April 9th, we can confirm if Sikhism is indeed included. A final vote on the state curriculum will be held in May.
Why Texas Matters
Decisions made on new classroom standards in the coming months will determine how 4.8 million students in Texas are taught social studies for the next decade.
More importantly, Texas curriculum standards are often used by textbook publishers to develop material for the whole nation, since Texas is America's second largest textbook purchaser. Curriculum standards determine the information contained in school textbooks. Experts estimate that the decisions made by the Texas Board of Education affect the textbooks used in 46 other states.
The social studies curriculum revisions began over nine months ago. At that time, Sikhism or any mention of Sikhs was absent from these standards. Since that time, the Coalition has been working with several members of the state board, organization allies, and Sikh community members to include Sikhism in the standards.
The Coalition will continue to work with the community to ensure that the Sikh voice is heard during the curriculum standard development process.