Once again, the Common Core standard-lowering, bias-filled, misrepresentation of facts and figures bandits are hard at work attempting to dummy-down our students and leave them woefully unprepared for college and life beyond. The CC social studies standards are currently under review and will be implemented if we do not make our voices heard and highlight the glaring gaps and inaccurate information lurking in the curriculum. Nearly all wars have been omitted, the term “revolution” is absent, and basic (read: crucial) topics and concepts such as the three branches of government, the Declaration of Independence and Martin Luther King Jr. are all AWOL. Kentucky’s own constitution is not included, and while the U.S. Constitution is mentioned, the lack of details on what will be discussed leaves teachers unaware of what will be covered on assessments and students unaware of the depth and breadth of the most important document in American history.
2011 Kentucky History Teacher of the Year Donnie Wilkerson shared his displeasure and deep concern over these issues with state officials after the consulting group of social studies educators he had been a part of was disbanded when they expressed disagreement over the standards and their proposed implementation. It seems that despite their solicitation of varied opinions and “encouragement” of debate, the powers that be have little interest in deviating from their original plan.
Our own Steve Shreeve responded to Frankfort’s push for these hapless standards and lamented the absurdity of attempting to create something new when we need only examine successful programs already in place. “The standards are completely vague and devoid of specific, actionable, didactic material. Look at the Massachusetts Social Studies standards from 2003 for a high quality, proven, well-thought out set of standards.
I read through the entire document of proposed KY standards and they are saturated with buzzwords about 21st Century Learning (poor Thomas Jefferson had to suffer with his lowly 16th Century Learning?) and weak minded global citizen references. These standards fail to understand the exceptionalism of the American form of government embodied in the United States Constitution. Quit wasting effort trying to reinvent the wheel — and doing so very poorly. Save your energy and adopt the Massachusetts standards as a PROVEN suite of comprehensive and high quality standards.”
The next few weeks are crucial and anyone concerned with the direction our commonwealth is taking in proposing these deficient standards needs to contact Frankfort and share his or her concerns.
This can be done one of two ways: a survey-style response site at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KYSSpublic, or direct mail via Kentucky Board of Education c/o Kentucky Department of Education, 501 Mero Street, Frankfort, KY 40601