A couple of days ago, the American Story posted a really neat monologue about Abraham Lincoln’s life, and it’s well worth a listen.
The American Story gets it. There is far more to Lincoln’s story than just the time he served as president during the Civil War.
Sadly, Kentucky’s current public school social studies standards flunk the American Story test completely.
You see, Lincoln is NEVER mentioned in Kentucky’s embarrassingly vacuous standards. The explanation given for this huge omission is a laughable excuse that since the standards do require coverage of the Civil War, Lincoln is covered.
Well, almost all of the “stuff” mentioned in the American Story podcast happened well before the Civil War and therefore isn’t covered, but information about Lincoln’s early life is critical to understanding the real qualities of this very important American.
How dare our education bureaucracy deny our children a guarantee that they will learn about Lincoln’s full life, including the fact he was born in Kentucky (which, Kentucky educators, also happened before the Civil War and isn’t covered by the standards, either)? Why aren’t the many really good teachers we have in Kentucky demanding these standards be reworked to provide that guarantee that all of Kentucky’s children have a reasonable chance to learn what good teachers know needs coverage?
If our teachers won’t act, you can still do something about this. When it comes to education, the 1989 Rose Court Case says the buck stops with our legislature. If you think Kentucky’s students deserve to know about Lincoln, please let your legislator know. Without the guarantee of a specific education standard, the child who might not learn about Lincoln just might be part of your family.