New social studies standards deserve your support
Guest column by David Griffith
As someone who spent the better part of a year orchestrating a bipartisan effort to assess the quality of every state’s civics and U.S. history standards, I urge South Dakotans to support the proposed rewrite of the Mt. Rushmore State’s mediocre old social studies standards.
The draft standards, which the South Dakota Department of Education released earlier this fall, have many strengths, nearly all of which are easier to appreciate if you’ve spent a lot of time reading bad standards.
First, the revision is unusually rich in specific and worthy content – a minor miracle given that almost any specificity in social studies risks controversy in today’s polarized environment. (Why Jefferson but not Madison? Why Martin Luther King but not Malcom X? Why the Khmer Rouge but not the Armenian Genocide?)
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