Mich. social studies standards rewrite history

Apr 11, 2019 by

If you are under the impression that Socrates, Plato, Julius Caesar (or any Caesar), Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Alexander the Great, Columbus, James Madison, Napoleon, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, FDR, or Martin Luther King Jr. are important historical figures that should be taught to every child, the Michigan Department of Education begs to differ.

In an astounding draft set of K-12 social studies standards that were received by the State Board of Education earlier this week, these key individuals are not required content.

Other key concepts and events, such as taxation without representation, constitutional amendments, constitutional conventions, the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution are also omitted.

Although some of the individuals or events might be suggested as examples, or there may be a hope that some might be taught even if not mandated, the cold hard reality is that if the standards are adopted, that a student could attend 13 years of public schooling in Michigan and never hear of any of them. This is more likely than one might suppose, because only mandatory content can be state tested, and none of this is mandatory.

The standards are also imprecise, unclear, and ill-defined. Although the standards drafting committee was presented with clearly defined and helpful terms by a focus group civics committee, the drafting committee rejected those proposals and instead adopted at least 17 different terms in addressing America’s democratic values and constitutional principles.

Examples include “core principles,” “core ideals,” “ideals,” “philosophical origins of constitutional government,” “ideas about government,” “basic values and principles,” “democratic values,” and “constitutional principles of American government.”

Words have meaning. Either the drafters carefully chose these words but failed to explain them, or they utterly failed to consider the confusion using these various terms might bring to teachers. Either way, the attempt to carefully craft and use defined terms has been rejected for chaos in the classroom.

The standards are also biased by highlighting the progressive movement and censoring the conservative movement.

Source: Opinion: Mich. social studies standards rewrite history

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