Crusade for the Classroom

The resurgent religious right is gaining power on local school boards and stirring angry debate

On a Tuesday evening in Greenville, South Carolina, hundreds of parents hurried through dinner and headed for the local school-board meeting. Those who could not find seats flowed into the hallways, where TV monitors captured a heated debate over a proposed program called "Framework for Learning." Supporters argued that this curriculum would strengthen reasoning skills; opponents countered that it was a veiled effort to sabotage home-taught moral and religious values. For many of those in the room and in the hall, the controversy evoked a here-we-go-again feeling that has pervaded every board meeting in town since January, when three Christian conservatives...

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