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Sunday, August 14, 2022

DCPS neuters the teaching of social studies, tells teachers they are no longer professionals. (draft)

 Before people blame the state and try and let DCPS off the hook, let me say I know the state is terrible, I know the state does DCPS and public education no favors. Still, I also know DCPS has a nasty habit of taking bad things and making them worse; this is just another example. 

At the mid-week social studies meeting, teachers were told not to use extraneous materials unless they are approved. For those at home who don't know how things work, teachers are given standards to teach and often a curriculum in which to teach it; sometimes, however, they are just given the standard and have to develop their own materials or use other materials to enhance their teaching. Social studies teachers were warned not to do the latter unless they received permission; a process, knowing the district, won't be quick.

Think about that Newspapers out, current events out, location-specific materials like teaching Axe Handle Sunday, or how at one time, the district was almost decertified because of racial animous, out. This means most teachable moments and creativity are, you guessed it, out. You know, because teachers can't be trusted to be professionals.

It gets worse because this directly contradicts some standards that various classes have like:

 SS.7.C.2.13: students will examine multiple perspectives on current issues

SS.7.C.2.11: students will analyze media and political communications for bias, symbolism, and propaganda

I guess since those standards might outrage a Mom 4 Liberty loon, they are out too. Think about that, rather than sticking up and fighting for teachers; the district would rather neuter them all to appease a handful of loons who may or may not say something.

This may affect more than social studies teachers. I teach a life skills class to profoundly disabled children, and as part of my morning meeting, we watch CNN10 and do a Brain pop episode; sometimes, they talk about real things like politics and civil rights; do I need to get permission for them as well?

I am sure there is a workaround that allows teachers to be professional and creative and follow the new laws, but the district never looks for them; they ask the state how high they want them to jump and then try and jump even higher, and it's despicable.

We could and should be doing better; unfortunately, DCPS's leadership doesn't seem interested in doing so. Below and not its teachers is who DCPS has sided with to the detriment of us all.

1 comment:

  1. I was a high social studies teacher for 36 years. I remember when 911 came upon us. Our American History teachers turned the TV’s on. This was prior to the state assessment. The principal ordered us to turn the TV’s off. During lunch our department head gathered us up and we went to the principals office and protested. We kept our TV’s on. Most of us did turn them off when the towers fell.