The TN State Department of Education is going to revise its Social Studies standards. ALL OF THEM. They are seeking public input through July 18th. The surveys are linked here.
YOU (yes, you, whoever is being addressed by this written statement), as a citizen, should contribute to this important, civic process!
The content of these standards is what children and youth across the state are taught. (Teachers are ethically obligated to teach the standards and if they don’t they can be fired).
As the anti-tax forces continue their attacks on public schools, from curriculum censorship to vouchers to overemphasis on test scores, it’s more important than ever to have a stake in public schools whether or not you have children in them.
Even with all those politics around schools these days, public schools remain a space where most people are going through a somewhat similar learning experience. Tennessee’s social studies curriculum is very status quo (to state it mildly). But the “social studies practices” are standards I firmly support. They include critical thinking, evidence-based reasoning, and media literacy. If you’re even remotely pragmatic, fill out this one survey to support these important building blocks of democracy.
If you are interested in digging deeper, if you are worried about citizenship, if you are worried about indoctrination, check out the other surveys. It’s pretty surprising to see what (and how little) is required in kindergarten and first grade. It starts to get pretty overwhelming when you get to fourth grade. Diving into a high school course would be a serious commitment. But it would help you get a sense of what teachers are trying to teach.