Kaye Beach

Civics, history education are focus of Oklahoma bill

In Oklahoma Legislation, Oklahoma Legislators on January 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

BY MEGAN ROLLAND The Oklahoman

Published: January 21, 2010

A state representative has filed a bill aimed at ensuring that Oklahoma students learn fundamental principles of the U.S. government. Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City, said House Bill 2814 is in response to the results of a survey conducted by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs that showed students were unable to answer basic civics questions.

“That’s so bad, it clearly shows whatever we are doing, it certainly isn’t working,” Key said. “If you don’t know where you come from, then you really don’t have much of a foundation for how your political system works.”

The survey of 1,000 students was conducted in 2009, and found that only 2.8 percent of students could answer all 10 questions asked.

Rep. Ed Cannaday, D-Porum, said he was “shocked” that anyone would base legislation on the results of that survey.

Cannaday rebutted the results of the survey last year. He conducted his own sample questionnaire of high school seniors in his district and found more than 70 percent of them passed the 10-question quiz.

Jenni White, a parent, said she approached Key about introducing a bill after seeing that the curriculum taught to her children was insufficient.

“I don’t think people realize what we teach in U.S. history today,” White said. She blamed judicial activism for schools pulling away from history.

“You can’t use the word God because of separation of church and state … when you remove that from teaching history, you remove the foundation for the development of our country and you fundamentally change what you’re teaching,” she said.

HB 2814 would add the following subjects to the state’s core curriculum standards for social studies: the Declaration of Independence; the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights; substantive selections from the Federalist Papers; the Emancipation Proclamation; the Gettysburg Address; and George Washington‘s farewell address.

http://www.newsok.com/civics-history-education-are-focus-of-oklahoma-bill/article/3433590?custom_click=pod_headline_politics#ixzz0dHUqdxtW

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