Five Problems with Massachusetts’ Draft History and Social Science Curriculum Framework

The Pioneer Institute released their public comment on the 2018 Massachusetts Public Comment Draft History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. The authors are David Randall with the National Association of Scholars, Will Fitzbaugh of The Concord Review, and Jane Robbins with American Principles Project.

They open their comment by writing:

The January 2018 Public Comment Draft of the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework (2018 Revision) follows in the footsteps of other recent revisions of the Science, English Language Arts and mathematics standards. In each case, the revised version of the standards has declined in content and coherence. Sadly, the 2018 Revision of the History and Social Science Curriculum Framework eviscerates the 2003 Framework.

They then list five deficiencies:

  1. „The 2003 Framework organized its curriculum around coherent sequences of American and European history; the 2018 Revision substitutes incoherent fragments that obstruct students from learning about historical progression.
  2. „Thee 2003 Framework provided crisply written standards that were easy for teachers to understand and incorporate into their classrooms; the 2018 Revision lengthens the standards by 50% and conveys them in unreadable education-school jargon.
  3. „The 2003 Framework gave students a history that provided a full account of our country’s European past and its own exceptional history; the 2018 Revision replaces much of that narrative with the history of politically correct protest movements.
  4. „The 2003 Framework gave students sufficient time to learn European and American history; the 2018 Revision abbreviates to deficiency the European and American history sequences.
  5. „Perhaps most importantly, the 2003 Framework ensured that parents and the public could judge how well Massachusetts schools taught history by culminating in a statewide test, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). e 2018 Revision eliminates assessment, and substitutes meaningless “expectations” for each grade.

They give the following suggestions to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for improving civics education in the Bay State.

  • Turn the American Government course, which is an elective in the 2003 Frameworks, into a required course;
  • Add a civics component to the MCAS test; and
  • Endorse the Civics Education Initiative, which has been enacted in 15 states and requires high school students to pass the same test those applying for U.S. citizenship must pass.

This public comment precedes a detailed analysis that the Pioneer Institute said will be released at a later date.

Read the public comment below:

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