In February, we criticized proposed changes to North Carolina’s social studies standards. The standards draft eliminated American history prior to 1877 from the history course taken by North Carolina’s 11th graders. NCDPI received over 7,000 letters protesting the proposed changes.
Last week, the NC Board of Education approved revised social studies standards. Thanks to a “high level of input” (which Ed Week interprets as “vociferous criticism”), North Carolina’s students will now take four social studies courses, rather than three. Students will take two US history courses: US History I will cover European exploration of the New World through the Reconstruction Era, while US History II will cover the 19th century to contemporary time.
In 2006, the Fordham Institute concluded that North Carolina’s U.S. history standards “[do] not [constitute] a U.S. history education in any sense” and gave the standards an F. Let’s hope these new standards move the state’s students toward a deeper understanding of their history. Once again, we’ll be watching.