An effort by some State Board of Education members to specify how Christianity and Islam should be covered in new world history books is illegal and should be dropped, a candidate who is expected to be an incoming board member and who has clashed with social conservatives said Wednesday. Thomas Ratliff, a Republican from Mount Pleasant who defeated former board Chairman Don McLeroy of College Station in a hotly contested primary in March, said the board resolution is in direct conflict with a 1995 state law that limits the board’s authority over textbooks. The resolution, scheduled to be considered next week, was prompted by what social conservatives said was a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian viewpoint in world history textbooks once used in Texas and an increasing presence in the U.S. textbook market by foreigners. Those critics did not cite similar biases in books now used in Texas schools.

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