Opinion: State Education Board may mess with history

Paul W. Smith
In this Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, photo students listen as social studies teachers Judi Galasso and Jonathan Duffy lead the introductory class of their American Thought and Political Radicalism course at Thomas Worthington High School,  in Worthington, Ohio.

“ Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’ ”

In the same week we heard incredibly hopeful and uplifting news from Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti as he delivered the district's first State of the Schools address, we also heard on my radio show and read in the newspaper some very disconcerting and unacceptable news regarding the direction the State Board of Education wants to take with our students.

The bearer of the bad news regarding the current direction of public school education was Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren, who served as a focus group and task member for the revision of the social studies standards for our public schools.

As Judge Warren put it: “If you are under the impression that Socrates, Plato, Julius Caesar (or any other Caesar), Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Alexander The Great, Columbus, James Madison, Napoleon, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, FDR , or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are important historical figures that should be taught to every child, the Michigan Department of Education begs to differ.”

Judge Warren continued:

“In an astounding draft set of K-12 social studies standards that were received by the State Board of Education, these key individuals are not required content. Other key concepts and events such as taxation without representation, constitutional amendments and conventions, the Russian and Chinese Revolutions are also omitted. Although some of the individuals or events might be suggested as examples, or there may be a hope that some might be taught even if not mandated, the cold hard reality is that if the standards are adopted, a student could attend 13 years of public schooling in Michigan and never hear of any of them.”

Are you kidding me?

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.