Hinduism in California Textbooks

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Krishna Maheshwari


In November 2017, California State Board of Education adopted the IQC recommendation of September, 2017 to adopt 10 of 12 instructional materials submitted to the IQC from publishers. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's two programs were not approved:

  1. HMH Kids Discover (K-6)
  2. HMH Social Studies (6-8)


While the following programs were approved along with the recommended edits and corrections from the IQC's September 2017 decision:

  1. Discovery Education: Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook (6-8)
  2. First Choice Educational Publishing: E Pluribus Unum: The American Pursuit of Liberty, Growth, and Equality, 1750–1900 (Grade 8)
  3. McGraw-Hill School Education LLC: IMPACT: California Social Studies (K-6)
  4. McGraw-Hill School Education LLC: IMPACT: California Social Studies (6-8)
  5. National Geographic Learning, a Division of Cengage Learning, Inc.: National Geographic World History (6-8)
    • Ancient Civilizations (Grade 6)
    • Medieval and Early Modern Times (Grade 7)
    • U.S. History: American Stories, Beginning to World War I (Grade 8)
  6. Pearson Scott Foresman & Prentice Hall: Pearson California History-Social Science: myWorld Interactive (K-5)
  7. Pearson Scott Foresman & Prentice Hall: Pearson California History-Social Science: myWorld Interactive (6-8)
  8. Studies Weekly, Inc: California Studies Weekly – Social Studies (K-6)
  9. Teachers’ Curriculum Institute: Social Studies Alive! California Series (K-5)
  10. Teachers’ Curriculum Institute: History Alive! California Series (6-8)


All the 6th and 7th grade instructional materials include India & Hinduism as required by California's History Social Science Standards (1998) and History Social Science Framework (2016)

The SBE’s received letters from thousands of Hindu American parents, children, educators and community members from across California, including immigrant Hindus from Fiji, Caribbean and India, as well as letters from a broad coalition of more than 75 interfaith and community groups, 17 state and federal elected officials and 75 leading academics leading up to the hearing. It also heard 500 people before Board President Mike Kirst declared the SBE public hearing closed. He said: “That was the longest in the history of the state Board of Education.”

California Department of Education, Instructional Quality Commission History Social Science Sub-committee discussion on Hinduism prior to final recommendation

During the September IQC hearing, the IQC, in their recommendation to the SBE to not approve HMH's two programs called out :


In their recommendation to approve McGraw Hill's programs, the IQC accepted approximately 10 edits from Prof. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College with relation to India and Hinduism.

Other than for HMH and Studies Weekly, the IQC accepted almost all the recommended edits from LGBT groups bringing those texts in alignment with the FAIR act.

The publishers will have the next three months to incorporate the changes recommended by the IQC with oversight by the IQC.

Press coverage related to SBE decision

Related articles

Issues with Draft textbooks

Videos of Proceedings