The Alabama state school board put to rest two controversial issues Friday and also placed the Selma school system on notice that the Alabama State Department of Education is planning an intervention.
With a pair of 5-2 votes, board members approved new social studies textbooks that had sections on religion some accused of being “pro-Islam” and a new math and language arts curriculum, which is based on Alabama’s College and Career Ready standards that pull somewhat from the controversial Common Core curriculum.
Fears of religious bias derailed an earlier vote on approval of new social studies textbooks.
Bice canceled a vote on the textbooks in early December when conservative groups in the state raised concerns about 12 books on the approved state list, which included more than 500 textbooks. They were concerned that the books were too pro-Islam and misrepresented some aspects of Christianity.
Specifically, the Eagle Forum and Act! For America sent letters to board members last month complaining that the books in question omitted references to Islam being spread by violence and don’t spend enough time on Christianity’s positives.
Bice said he had the textbook committee re-examine the books in question, and that he read them as well, before ultimately determining that they met state standards.
Betty Peters of Kinsey and Bell, from Montgomery, voted against approving the new books, and Bell introduced an amendment that removed the textbooks in question. That amendment failed.
“I don’t mind at all the teaching of other religions,” Bell said after the meeting. “I just want it to be presented fairly, and I don’t think these books measure up to that standard.”
Homeschooling is looking more attractive each day in Alabama. Or is it Allahbama?