Once again, North Carolina's educational system is making national headlines. Thanks to Fox News for alerting us to this year's plan by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to remove U.S. history from the course in U.S. history. Under the plan, the required 11th-grade course will now include "U.S. history only from 1877 onward."
Not so fast, says June Atkinson, Superintendent of Public Instruction, who claims the plan increases the amount of history education in the curriculum. "The years prior to reconstruction would have been covered with students three times before - in fourth grade (as part of North Carolina history) in fifth grade and in seventh grade."
However, a closer look at the proposed elementary school curriculum shows what's really going on. The 4th grade class in North Carolina history seems to be transformed into a study of how the North Carolina colonists destroyed the indigenous Native Americans. Fourth graders will now learn to explain the "causes and effects of European exploration and colonization on North Carolina American Indian groups." Fifth graders will learn to "analyze the relationships between European explorers and native peoples."
Things don't get better in middle school. Gone is any mention of the War Between the States in the 7th-grade course in North Carolina history. Instead, our children will learn about "the Indian Removal Act, governmental authority & racial tension during the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, desegregation during the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education." [Question for DPI: Are there any historic events worth teaching that don't involve discrimination against minority groups?]
This is the same stunt DPI attempted in 2001, when it plotted to remove the middle school course in North Carolina history, all the while claiming that it was actually increasing North Carolina history education. We didn't fall for it then, and after outraged parents showed up at town hall meetings around the state, the N.C. General Assembly amended the General Statutes to require two full years of North Carolina history education in the public schools.
Since DPI apparently didn't learn its lesson, contact your legislators again and let them know that you oppose this plan. North Carolina has too much history for the public schools to ignore it.