Dear Social Studies teacher…

Dear Social Studies teacher,

Do your kids “think like a historian?”

You have kids examine primary sources, you ask them “Who wrote this? What is the author’s viewpoint? Why was it written? What is their bias? Their connections? Is this source believable ”  You teach them about the world’s great protagonists, the rebels, the people who have made a difference.   In class you don’t just espouse the ideas that you read about in a secondary source, you look for the primary sources they are based on., and you notice if every primary source you find in support has the same authors or comes from the same narrow perspective and financial backing.

You teach about the Federalists vs the Anti-Federalists.

State’s rights.

The 10th Amendment.

German propaganda.

The Robber barons.

Your kids know what really happened at “Thanksgiving,” and on the plains as the settlers moved west.

American Revolution’s patriots fighting against tyranny come alive in your class, and maybe the Zinnists amongst you even let the kids know that there is a whole ‘nother side to the American Revolution that is not covered in the textbooks.

Your kids leave you at the end of the year thinking like historians.
Maybe it is time that you start.

Are you thinking like a historian when you just accept the Common Core State Standards?  Have you held yourself accountable to the same exact standards of historical inquiry that you hold your kids too?
Please do what you ask you kids to do.  Act like a historian and take some time to look at the CCSS as you would any other primary source document.

I have an old newspaper clipping from 1924 about the federal government’s role in education that finishes with:

It is not the governments business to tell the people what to think, nor to marshal the people’s thoughts this way or that.  
It is the government’s business to be guided by what the people are thinking.

Dear Social Studies teacher, I would hope that if anyone would stand up to being pawns of the federal government and its millionaire vultures, it would be you.  Is it really ok for a small group of investors to control the education of every child in our country?

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