In Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment
- supported segregation
- protected the rights of slave owners
- guaranteed the right to an attorney
- upheld freedom of expression
This question* comes directly from Maryland’s American government exam, a graduation requirement ensuring that students learn about segregation and the Civil Rights movement, about political systems, geography, and human interdependence, for starters.
When Maryland adopted this requirement (along with a biology test) three years ago, the state endowed subjects beyond NCLB-tested math and reading with a guaranteed place in high school curricula … and with all-important funding.
So Baltimore schools’ head rightly asks: “[W]hat does it signal, that government is suddenly less relevant than the other subjects? Why government and not the other tests?” We’d like to hear Governor O’Malley’s answer.
Although Maryland does hope to join with other states to develop a common social studies assessment, the state wouldn’t assess the subject again until at least 2015. We wonder—what happens to social studies in the four + year void? Could government and history courses be the new arts and foreign language programming—branded disposable in state budgets, and, consequently, by education officials?
Shame on Maryland and its governor for cutting Government from its budget. Let’s hope other states choose to support deep learning—teaching their students the history of “separate but equal,” its legacy, and its overturning.
*Answer 1 is the correct choice.
Stephanie Porowski and Meagan Estep