The Texas state school board approved new guidelines for teaching social studies and history -- with final votes coming down along party lines -- after months of ideological debate. Conservative members of the board introduced proposed changes to the standards in 2009 to offer "balance" to the curriculum, which one board member said had a "left-wing tilt." Opponents of the changes, which include a greater emphasis on Judeo-Christian influences on history and a dilution of the concept of church-state separation, said they are unjustly politicizing education.

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