Used to be called History and separately, civics. How did we get here from back then and how is American government supposed to be organized and run? Basic issues and basic knowledgebases for any American citizen. Sadly, our government schools seem to be a poor job of both – after all, ask a young adult the same question we require of LEGAL immigrants wishing to become naturalized Citizens and be prepared for a very dismal experience. So when I saw this (emphasis mine, reformatted):
NH in process of revamping social studies curriculum
EXETER — The state of New Hampshire’s educational standards for social studies has not been updated since 2006 but with a review from the Department of Education underway, local school administrators and community leaders are beginning to line up to help shape its process.
I went “It’s really gonna get addressed! Yay!”. Then I went back and reread that “community leaders” bit again. Sorry I did that….sigh….
It started off well (or as Susan often says “It looks nice”):
The review is being led by the DOE under the Social Studies Standards Strategic Leadership Team composed of education officials and citizens. Heather Gage, director for the Division of Learner Support at the DOE, said the committee was forced to take a hiatus over the summer but is currently working to have a draft ready for review by the state Board of Education. After the board reviews the draft, the DOE will open a public comment section and the draft will go out to communities for regional listening sessions for parents, teachers, school administrators and interested citizens to weigh in on the final draft’s contents.
Gage said she expects the final draft of the standards to be distributed among the state’s school districts by the end of the school year so each district can use the summer to adjust their curriculums to fit the new standards, pending final approval by the Board of Education. She said there is no specific timetable when the regional listening sessions will begin but she hopes they will take place in the winter of 2019.
We’ll have to get a list of that schedule. While getting the messages out, a bit of doubt started to creep in and for one basic reason, but lets hold off for just a bit more. Still sounds decent:
“We’ve started to process the different pieces of social studies education; civics, history, economics and we are rounding out each one in subcommittees to identify what specific standards in each are in need of updating,” Gage said. “We’re looking forward to getting out for our regional listening sessions to give educators and administrators a chance for them to give us the bits and pieces we might have missed so we know what we can go back and improve.”
Gage said the DOE social studies leadership team is comparing the social studies standards of states that recently updated their curriculums, including Massachusetts, the “C3” college, career and civic life effort developed by a group of social studies educators across the country, among other materials as part of the New Hampshire review.
Uh-oh, a reason for my concern. You see, the information that we were taught back in the 60s and 70s was rigorous and concentrated on what actually happened and how constitutional government worked. Then the New Left / radicalists from the 60s started their leap into the educational system.
However, once the final standards are approved, it will be incumbent on each school district to devise a curriculum based on the new standards because of the right of communities to maintain local control of their school districts. This local control has energized some activists to encourage their fellow community members to take an active role in helping the state finalize the new social studies standards once the public input process begins, particularly with an eye toward ensuring issues regarding diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism are strongly reflected in the new standards.
Yeah, I had a reason to start to be concerned. These are issues surrounding social justice outlooks – indoctrination by the Left for the Left. Silly question but do you think any of Rush Limbaugh’s history books on our American history would be granted any kind of status in this, or just “age appropriate” mash ups of Howard Zinn’s grievance history of the US (where ALWAYS, America is the problem). See?
On the social studies team’s page on the DOE’s website, in the minutes of the team’s March 5 meeting, members reference an element of Massachusetts’ social studies standards having students become “literate” in a number of topics including leadership, unity, current events, media, data and social science, in addition to diversity. The other three meetings did not address the issue of diversity, according to their minutes.
And here it comes:
Rogers Johnson, chairman of the Governor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, said if parents and educators truly want to see a diversity and inclusivity reflected in their children’s education, then they will need to be active in the public process when the draft standards come out of the DOE.
“To the extent school officials, teachers and individuals get involved locally and then demand this of their school board, that is the extent diversity and inclusion will be in their school’s curriculum,” Johnson said. “If our students go anywhere for college other than UNH, they are going to school in a place that is instantly more diverse than New Hampshire, so the people involved with this process need to know what diversity and inclusion in a social studies curriculum truly looks like and understand the necessity of preparing our students to be able to thrive in a diverse workforce.”
Nice slap at New Hampshire, that, Mr. Rogers. Are you saying that students coming out of our high schools can’t handle someone that looks different from them? Or are you saying that they are not ready or willing to go into full lockstep with the nuttiness that often rages across campuses (like here in the “melting pot” of the world, the idea of “cultural appropriation” means that certain clothing, speech, and affectations are not permitted simply because of race and ethnicity.)? You really have gone full SJW, haven’t you? What happened to your Conservativism, sir? And it gets worse:
Ken Mendis is an organizer with Exeter’s Racial Unity Team, which hosts an annual racial unity walk to remind participants of the contributions minorities have made to Exeter and the backlash they were subjected to. Mendis said New Hampshire’s students will be unprepared for a diverse and multi-cultural world because by growing up in a less diverse state, they are not exposed to people who hail from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Look, I have no problem with diversity of thought but generally, as we have documented here, SJWism on mere skin-deep diversity degenerates into long series of grievances. Sure, America has had it faults but unlike almost all other countries, we have striven to correct those faults (after all, over 600,000 soldiers fought and died in our Civil War to better bring our Society into line with the asperational words of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence) and much was further done during the Civil Marches back in the 60s. But then again, I bet I’ll be labeled a hater and a racist and a hobophobe and a zenophobe and misogynist and….you get the picture. I’m no White Nationalist (although that seems to be the Democrat / Progressive slur of the day as that term seems to have supplanted “extremist”, “TEA Partier” (or its far worse sexual slur), and “White Supremacist” – EVERYONE that doesn’t bow down and move in lockstep with the Left is one by definition) but like a lot of folks, I’m tired of seeing the goodness of America being slandered for the sake of being “woke” (as stupid a term as it sounds).
My problem is when that history overtakes, supplants, and relegates the majority of, the intent of, and the philosophy of the major points of our history to the Leftist Memory Hole.
“My hope is when the Department of Education looks at other states’ curriculums they can pick up a state with diverse cultures as a model,” he said. “Then, it’s up to the school boards to create an education system that seeks to take advantage of the diversity in its own back yard so students learn the cultural history of their own communities. We have to make sure we are educating our children about diversity because they are not gaining this experience through osmosis, as many children do in other parts of the country.”
The problem is that the way that most SJWs use the topic, it mirrors that of the Democrat identity politics group Totem Poll. Read Campus Reform and The College Fix to see story after story of how diversity is raised above all else on “progressive” campuses all over America. My concern is that this raging offense against American Unity (hey, the Left is always driveling about “coming together” and being “unified” but it is always on THEIR terms only) will overreach and supplant that which truly unites us: our common history, our common philosophy, and our common asperations. Identity politics, by definition, splits us apart because it places different identity groups apart from others and now making so many “protected” groups, who can keep track anymore. E pluribus unum, the “melting pot” – both have been decried as racist and micro-aggressive. How can there be unity when it seems that the Left doesn’t WANT unity?
Gage said local school boards will be the final decision-makers deciding to what extent the standards are applied to each district’s social studies curriculum. Though she said she did not know specifically how much the social studies team has discussed the topics of diversity and inclusion since it returned from its summer hiatus. “In general, diversity is a big piece of any social studies education,” Gage said. “We’re making sure our standards are current and the most rigorous we can develop so they are appropriate for our students.”
One a different note, I take exception to this:
Portsmouth Assistant Superintendent George Shea said social studies has become a relatively “neglected” discipline with fewer tools on the state and federal level to ensure the rigor of district’s social studies curriculums compared to other subjects, such as mathematics and science. He said he was looking forward to Portsmouth residents and educators participating in the public input process. “It’s hard to drill down to one specific standard as to how a social studies curriculum is structured,” Shea said. “We can gear it around big questions of diversity throughout history and people’s cultures. We want kids to wrestle with these complex questions. We cannot have these issues be check-boxes, or a couple paragraphs.”
So the blame goes to the State and Feds on this? So for all the talk about local control, where’s the talk about local responsibility? I keep hearing, at least in my town, of all of the highly qualified (I can’t keep up with the changes, there’s now a different term for it – sorta like how they keep changing GL account designations in a budget so one can’t do A to A comparisons year to year) teachers and staff – why haven’t they taken it upon themselves to have kept it from becoming “a relatively neglected discipline”. We have a “Curriculum & Assessment Director” in my little hamlet (more on THAT issue in forthcoming Tales from the BudComm) – but not one listed for Portsmouth?
SAU 16 Superintendent Dr. David Ryan said it was somewhat premature to make declarations about what does and does not need to be included in the new social studies standards until a draft is presented to school districts so his district can begin to assess what the real dollar amount revamping the curriculum would be. He said it was important for school boards across the state to understand the diversity students who go to live and work in other parts of the country and world will experience so they can build a curriculum that embraces it and educates students on the vast perspectives diversity reflects.
Here’s a notion for you, Doctor – Article 28-A and be willing to tell the BoE to go pound sand if said standard compliance will cost the District money. See, problem solved.
There is another problem, however. Too many Conservatives have left the education field “to the professionals” never thinking that things have changed since they were in school. They have, radically, and not for the good. It is, one reason, why I decided to start teaching at the local college instead of pursuing more lucrative consulting gigs. We need a presence in the school systems if for no other reason than this:
…It is teachers who train, both socially and technically, the workers of the future.
Socialists. Your kids. They will be with your kids more than you will be. As I’ve stated here before, prospective teachers are already being taught to “not trust parents” in education colleges.
Get to these “regional listening” meetings. Further, record them. Send them to us – I’ll put it online. Then we’ll match up the recordings to what the final reports say. I don’t think this will go well unless we do.
After all, the SJWs will be – how could they resist not going?