In Austin, Texas, a group of fifteen people is influencing what is taught to the next generation of American schoolchildren.  The highly politicized Texas State Board of Education goes through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren.  And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas affects the nation as a whole.

Don McLeroy — a dentist and Sunday school teacher, who while in dental school became a Christian after an intellectual examination of the claims of Christianity — leads the Creationist charge.  After briefly serving on his local school board, McLeroy was elected to the Texas State Board of Education and later appointed chairman.  In his 12 years on the board, McLeroy oversaw the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called “culture wars.”

In his last term, McLeroy — aided by Cynthia Dunbar, an attorney from Houston and professor of Law at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University — finds himself not only fighting to change what Americans are taught, but also fighting to retain his seat on the board.  Challenged by Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, and Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor from Southern Methodist University in Texas, McLeroy faces his toughest term yet.

THE REVISIONARIES follows the rise, fall, and rise again of some of the most controversial figures in American education through some of their most tumultuous intellectual battles.

  • Directed by Scott Thurman
  • Produced by Pierson Silver & Orlando Wood
  • Executive Producers: Jim Butterworth & Vijay Dewan
  • Co-Producers: Daniel J. Chalfen & Chandra C. Silver
  • Edited by Jawad Metni