AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America’s relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.

The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats’ and moderate Republicans’ efforts to delay a final vote failed.

The ideological debate over the guidelines, which drew intense scrutiny beyond Texas, will be used to determine what important political events and figures some 4.8 million students will learn about for the next decade.

The standards, which one Democrat called a “travesty,” also will be used by textbook publishers who often develop materials for other states based on guidelines approved in Texas, although teachers in the Lone Star state have latitude in deciding how to teach the material.

In one of the most significant changes leading up to the vote, the board watered down the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, pointing out that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring that students compare and contrast the judicial language with the wording in the First Amendment.

They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.

Don McLeroy, one of the board’s most outspoken conservatives, said the Texas history curriculum has been unfairly skewed to the left after years of Democrats controlling the board and he just wants to bring it back into balance.

During the monthslong revision process, conservatives strengthened requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers and required that the U.S. government be referred to as a “constitutional republic,” rather than “democratic.” Students will be required to study the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

Educators have blasted the curriculum proposals for politicizing education.

“They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms,” said Rep. Mike Villareal, a San Antonio Democrat. “They fail to understand that we don’t want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists.”