July 18, 2018
By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association
As parents, we’re disappointed when our kids fail to learn something in school — and their grade reflects it.
But what if they fail to learn important events in our nation’s history because those events are kept from them?
That is a real possibility if controversial changes to Michigan’s K-12 social studies standards are adopted by the State Board of Education — changes pushed by a group of conservatives that included state senator and gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton.
State standards outline expectations for what students are to learn from kindergarten through graduation. The proposed changes to the history standards are drastic, eliminating references to important issues and events in our nation’s history.
Colbeck’s stated purpose for the myriad of changes was to ensure that they were “politically neutral and accurate.” However, this group providing input on the standards failed to provide that intended balance, with no representation from Democratic legislators or progressive groups to balance the conservative viewpoints Colbeck and others brought to the table.