Allentown Divided Over Eliminating Social Studies There should be no debate here. Allentown School Board and administration are actually considering eliminating 6th grade social studies, and blending it in with Language Arts, so they can increase Math time, to improve test scores. Math test scores tank in middle school because kids aren't retaining what they have learned due to teaching the test and failed data driven education policies. (See FairTest for the truth about NCLB- a failed experiment on our children) Hey geniuses, let the teachers teach to their strengths, address the real problem- POVERTY, then students will succeed. A further narrowing of the curriculum is not going to help! Social studies is essential. Here's why:
Tim Slekar, professor of Education at Penn State sums it up nicely with this comment:
"Any move to diminish Social Studies and History should be viewed as an attack on democracy. These are the only subjects that specifically ask students to engage in learning that prepares you for life in a democracy. It specifically asks students to question social, civic, and economic conditions. They are the study of and should promote active citizenship. Anyone or any group that calls for limits on Social Studies and History teaching is calling for an uneducated population without the ability to question power. For those in Allentown that are "divided." WHat in the world are you divided about? Allentown citizens! This is an attempt to create an obedient citizenry. Don't roll over. Your children will remember these days. Hopefully they will remember this time in history as the time average citizens took a courageous stand against people of power."
Social Studies is a broad subject which includes history, anthropology, archaeology, political science, law, economics, geography, world cultures, current affairs, even psychology. If we want our children to grow up to be informed, humane, and caring citizens who are active participants in a democracy, then we should never deny them exposure to the study of the social sciences. This is outrageous, and parents must speak up!! Cut the useless and expensive testing that is harming our children, not the subjects that they need most. Wake up Allentown!