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From the “Don’t know much about history” department

Ladies and gentlemen, your State Board of Education at work.

A report ripping the new social studies standards for schoolchildren offers recommendations for how teachers can best skirt its shortcomings — although a state agency responsible for the group that produced the study disavows it.

The controversial curriculum standards approved by the State Board of Education last year represent “a widespread pattern of neglect of college readiness skills,” according to the 64-page report developed by the Social Studies Faculty Collaborative of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“No student will succeed in college or the workplace if he confuses writings with speeches, conducts a one-sided analysis or simply spits back a string of memorized information,” it states. “No Texas parent would desire this for her child and no profit-minded Texas business leader would hire a graduate who had attained only these abysmal standards.”

The report, called “Bridging the Gap Between K-12 and College Readiness Standards in Texas: Recommendations for U.S. History”, is here, and an earlier report by the Fordham Institute, which I blogged about a few months ago, is here. The Coordinating Board, being a political institution, has distanced itself from the Collaborative’s report, calling it “individuals who did some independent analysis”, as if that were a bad thing. The point of that “independent analysis” is that a group of college professors are saying that Texas students who are educated to these standards will not be prepared for college or for life, which sure seems to me to be something we ought to be concerned about. For some painful, depressing, and outright embarrassing background, see here. The Texas Freedom Network has more.

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