Saturday, August 15, 2009

History textbooks- it is a real issue

The Sacramento Bee for Saturday has an article , “Districts allowed to delay updating textbooks; states OK Frees us funds,”http://www.sacbee.com/ourregion/story/2111306.html?storylink=pd

This issue is far more serious than presented. It is not only that the textbooks are old. Textbooks in California must be based upon the State Frameworks and Standards. The current History/Social Science Framework for California Schools was written in 1987. It was in the process of being revised before the budget cuts.

The authors of the 1987 Framework were “mature” scholars. Thus, their own academic preparation was in the 60’s and 70’s, before Ethnic Studies, before the massive changes in this state due to immigration. The History Social Science Framework is embarrassingly inadequate in the history of Chicano/Latino people, and Asians. And, the economics described has a viewpoint from before the end of the Cold War. It portrays a time when the U.S. was the dominant economy in the world – hint, we no longer are.

There is more on this here:
http://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg/Home/california-history-social-science-framework

So, the textbooks currently in use are distinctly inaccurate. When students use such books they are not encouraged to see the world as it really is. And, they are not encouraged to see history, civics, and economics as relevant to their lives.
This is another sad impact of the budget crisis on California schools.
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