Social Studies: In summary, bring on laughter

Published Sep 1, 2015 at 8:47am

The Social Studies Frameworks being implemented in New York schools have substituted behavioral changes that promote social transformation to replace the knowledge and analytical thinking upon which solid education depends.

When such silliness becomes official, and credentials are brandished to defend it, ordinary people can only resort to laughter.

Bring on Blazing Saddles! Bring on The Producers! Anything but bring on Social Studies. The approved Social Studies Frameworks are so convoluted, obscure, intricate and shallow it is hard to know where first to laugh:

1. Good citizenship is what authorities say it is.

2. College and career ready is used as a laudable, magical distraction.

3. Culture wars pushed into students is so selective students might disown their own grandparents for daring to believe the American dream.

4. Understandings become key when they reach Billboard’s Top Hits chart.

5. Authorities get to deem when ideas become principles, and they are to be practiced, not understood.

6. Unifying themes are those that produce followers authorities can motivate.

7. Second graders are best fed incomplete feel good concepts while evidence is anything people say.

8. What happened in history is not worth studying and Economics is what government does.

9. Centralized control is good for the country even when it isn’t good for citizens.

10. Schooling that preserves the government is good for the country.

This is an education parents did not long for and one they had no opportunity to reject.

It passed because New York State’s Education Department (NYSED) pushed Regents to approve a modified Social Studies Frameworks even after the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) that pushed the original was told to pack up and go home by the founders of Common Core — the Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

It passed in New York because NYSED created a Content Advisory Panel riddled with special interests and friends of the NCSS. It passed because the letters given to the Regents were equally stacked with shills. It passed because it was “for the children” and made them “college and career ready.”

For ordinary people, an expert is someone who explains things so clearly even we can understand. For an academic, an expert is someone so credentialed that when they are obscure, no one dares challenge their silliness.

For the sake of our children, laughter is welcome at any local Board of Education meeting where you describe what your children are obliged to learn.