First, the National Education Association (NEA) apparently just voted DOWN a resolution to “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education” at its annual convention.
This doesn’t seem to be an online hoax. Some commenters on Twitter say a similar resolution passed last year, but that was last year. Why wouldn’t it be renewed? Can it be that the nation’s largest teachers’ union doesn’t want to dedicate itself to the betterment of student learning?
In a second development, the Kentucky Department of Education just announced that its highly contentious revision to the state’s social studies standards are now formally adopted. So, this vacuous document will drive, or more likely fail to drive, education in this area for the next six years.
We have written extensively about Kentucky’s vacuous and incomplete social studies standards that leave out a host of important content including any mention of virtually every president of the United States (Even Kentucky’s honored and very important son, Abraham Lincoln, is NOT mentioned anywhere!). Coverage of geography is so incomplete that we can’t tell if students will learn even basic material such as the facts that the earth has a North Pole, South Pole and Equator.
You can examine the department’s final, 229-page social studies standards by clicking here.
Then, if you want to see how Massachusetts includes FAR more in just 220 pages in its 2018 social studies standards document, titled “2018 HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE FRAMEWORK, Grades Pre-Kindergarten to 12,” just click here.
Here are just a few examples of things Kentucky’s new standards totally ignore that get specific listing in the relatively new Massachusetts document.
Find a lot more criticism of Kentucky’s new social studies standards in the BIPPS blog by using the term “Social Studies” in our search feature.
For sure, it’s shaping up to be a pretty rough week for education, and since teachers have total control at the NEA and also had major control over creating Kentucky’s new social studies standards, this situation is especially disturbing.
Does the union really represent rank and file teacher thinking, and does the small, hand-selected group of teachers that wrote Kentucky’s new social studies standards reflect rank and file teachers, too? It’s something to think about.
One last note. We can’t fix problems at the NEA, but Kentuckians can express their concerns about the new social studies standards to their legislators. A new law allows the legislature to review the regulation that adopted the social studies standards at any time, so this disservice to our children doesn’t have to go on for six more years before a fix can be made. But, legislators need to hear from you if you think our kids need to know about more than just Washington and Jefferson.