Curriculum matters

An editorial in today’s Charlotte Observer makes the case for including civil rights history in the North Carolina public school curriculum.  Here is the first paragraph:

When N.C. lawmakers were pushing through a bill this year to mandate the teaching of pre-1877 history, specifically about the Founding Fathers and their principles, they should have paid attention to the teaching of more recent history as well. North Carolina got failing marks in a recent review of how and what states teach about civil rights history.

This typifies the problem with the Founding Principles Act (HB 588) mentioned above.  Passage of the bill invites others to lobby the legislature to include subject matter, worthwhile or otherwise, in the state mandated curriculum.

Fortunately, Observer editors agree.

We don’t believe state lawmakers should be dictating teaching though. Those curriculum decisions should be free from political motivations and left to educators.

Of course, educators have political motivations just like everyone else.  Nevertheless, there are multiple levels of accountability that kick in when state education officials propose a flawed curriculum (see the Great United States History Curriculum Debate of 2010).

Terry Stoops / Director of the Center for Effective Education | John Locke Foundation

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...