Michigan residents have six more chances to offer their views on a draft of new social studies standards – a draft that deletes references to gay rights, climate change and Roe v. Wade and removes “democratic” from “core democratic values.”
The Michigan Department of Education had originally scheduled 10 meetings for public input on the standards across the state. But public outcry over some of the proposed changes, first revealed by Bridge Magazine in June, led the department to delay approval of the draft and schedule more meetings.
Related articles on Michigan’s social studies controversy:
- History gets a conservative twist in new Michigan social studies standards
- Michigan school board Dems: We will block conservative social studies changes
- Colbeck attacks ‘inaccurate’ reporting on social studies role, Bridge responds
- Crowds growing to protest Michigan social studies standards
- Public outcry delays Michigan social studies standards
Criticism of the proposed changes – some of which were recommended by state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, a candidate for governor, who served on a focus group reviewing the standards – has been swift and loud. As many as 200 people showed up to meetings in June about the standards, with the overwhelming majority opposed to the changes, according to MDE officials.
The State Board of Education was originally scheduled to vote on the standards in August. That vote has been delayed, with no new date set. Four democrats on the eight-member board said they would vote against the draft standards as currently written.
“We want to hear from residents across Michigan and get their feedback on updating the state’s content standards for Social Studies in our K-12 schools,” said Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “Interest in the proposed updated standards was so great that we decided to extend public comment and add these six additional input sessions around the state.”
The new public meetings will be held:
- Kalamazoo: Aug. 8, 6-8 p.m. at Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium, 2432 N. Drake Road.
- Ann Arbor: Aug. 9, 6-8 p.m. at Washtenaw Intermediate School District, 1819 S. Wagner Road.
- Detroit: Sept. 13, 6-8 p.m. at King High School, 3200 E. Lafayette St.
- Marquette: Sept. 18, 6-8 p.m. at Marquette-Alger RESA, 321 Ohio St.
- Gaylord: Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m. at University Center of Gaylord, 80 Livingston Blvd.
- Mt. Pleasant: Sept. 20, 6-8 p.m. at Central Michigan University Bovee University Center, 103 E. Preston St.
You can provide input online through Sept. 30 at www.michigan.gov/mde by clicking the “Request For Public Comment” box. This accesses the proposed draft version of the standards and allows you to offer online comments.