Meet Deval - Education Governor Dismantling Education
One of the things the education governor (aren't they all education governor's?) did before abandoning the standards that made Massachusetts tops in the nation and committing to phantom national standards was to postpone implementation of MCAS for History.
When it was postponed a second time and there was little talk of reinstatement even after the commonwealth received hundreds of millions in federal stimulus and grant funding for public education, the degrading of social studies in Massachusetts public schools began.
Remember, we're talking about Deval Patrick, who says if you're a kid in school you can't wait around due to budget cuts - "Your time is now!"
As a result of Deval's leadership, structural changes are already taking place that will diminish education in Massachusetts for years to come.
Both teachers in the town of Mansfield laid off this year taught social studies. The math and English departments each have 17 teachers and there are 14 science teachers. But there are only 11 full-time equivalent social studies teachers left. Even though the department serves over 1,500 students - more than any other - its budget is one-third of the other core departments.
When the current fiscal crisis hit, Bridgewater-Raynham initially eliminated all its middle school social studies teachers and relied on faculty from other subjects to teach social studies. Several other districts did the same thing.
Some cynics might suggest that lefties like Deval really aren't all that compassionate, after all. I think that's unfair. I figure it's the opposite - I think they're frozen with feeling. Compassion overload. And, of course, guilt. Everyone can't be saved, as hard as a love-dripping governor might try.
Summer professional development workshops for teachers have traditionally offered the same amount of hours for English, math, science and social studies. But unlike the other disciplines, there is no state test for social studies. As a result, there are now nearly five times more offerings in each of the other subjects. It makes you wonder how those English, math and science teachers now teaching social studies are going to learn to do it competently.
Elementary schools are being reorganized to allot time for English, math and science, but teachers are told to fit social studies in where they can.
Cynics might also argue that Democrats like the idea of History going away as a subject. If you don't know what America was supposed to be, you can't join the fight to save it. But that sort of cynicism requires ignoring the soft, compassionate tones with which the empathetic ones speak.
...in a nation not bound by common racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds, it is the public schools that educate upcoming generations about the democratic ideals that bind us together as a nation.
By walking away from making passage of a U.S. history test a high school graduation requirement, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has unwittingly turned its back on one of the central roles public education was designed to play.
Consider this - without the distraction of History, the push for a longer school day might just go away. That would make the unions very happy, and you might be able to get rid of those nasty Charter Schools. All in a compassionate day's work.