Sunday, July 31, 2011
Aloha POSSE forms to defend Hawaii social studies curriculum (includes position paper)
by Larry Geller
It’s one thing to reform (by which I mean improve) public education and another to destroy the value of it. No Child Left Behind has decimated curricula across the country as schools scramble to show progress in reading and math. The pressure on students is enormous, and in the end, they arguably receive an inferior education, stripped of arts, social studies, even phys ed. Reading and math are essential, of course, but not enough to produce well-rounded individuals capable of critical thinking.
The US Department of Education has supported an emphasis on social studies, as you will read in the paper. Yet Hawaii is planning drastic cuts.
Hawaii’s Department of Education is headed by a superintendent without educational credentials or experience, a departure from her predecessors. So it may fall to parents to defend the quality of Hawaii’s public school curriculum.
That appears to be what is happening with the formation of Aloha POSSE and the promulgation of their scholarly and well-reasoned position paper, which I’ve posted below with permission.
Aloha POSSE was formed in June 2011 “as an informal network of Hawai’i residents interested in Protecting Our Social Studies Education.”
The paper, Position Paper Regarding Board Policy 4540:Proposal to Reduce The Number of Social Studies Credits Required For High School Graduation From 4 Credits To 3, is well constructed and persuasive. Whether it will sway a Board of Education anxious to receive the US Department of Education’s bribe money, the Race to the Top award, remains to be seen. The paper is worthy of their attention and consideration.
It may take many parents working together to defend against erosion of the school curriculum. For more information, here is how to get hold of Aloha POSSE:
Aloha Posse website: http://www.alohaposse.org/alohaposse/Aloha_POSSE_home.html
Aloha Posse Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/alohaposse