SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Texas State Board of Education wants to stop teaching the history of Sweetwater’s WASP pilots in school
Currently, elementary school students learn about WASP pilots during WWII lessons, but thanks to a pending statewide curriculum overhaul, that could soon change.
The Board is holding a series of public hearings in November to discuss what topics can be eliminated from Texas history curriculum. Teachings on WASP pilots could be cut, as well as big national names such as Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller.
When asked why they are considering eliminating WASP pilots from history classes, the Texas State Board of Education released the following statement:
The State Board of Education is currently streamlining or shortening the kindergarten through twelfth-grade social studies curriculum standards. Many teachers have told the board that the standards are currently too lengthy to teach fully during an academic year. Advisory groups made up primarily of Texas teachers and now the board itself have made difficult decisions about what material should be cut from the standards. Currently, the Women Airforce Service Pilots are listed as an example of good citizenship that may be taught in second grade; teachers are not currently required to teach about WASP.
Based on the recommendations of the advisory groups, the board, on a preliminary vote, did agree to cut references to this organization. It’s not meant to be disrespectful to these patriots. It was simply a tough decision made to prioritize what should be taught in second grade. A final vote on the social studies standards will occur during the board’s Nov. 13-16 meeting so this is not yet a final decision.
WASP pilots, or Women Air Force Service Pilots, were women who signed up to fly planes domestically during WWII. More than 1,000 women pilots learned to fly at Avenger Field in Sweetwater and we able to perform missions such as air craft testing and target moving, allowing men to fly in combat battles overseas.
TONIGHT on KRBC NEWS at 6PM – Learn more about the WASP museum and a group of followers trying to keep their history alive – both in school and out!