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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Got a beef with Michigan’s social studies standards? Help rewrite them

Michigan is looking for help to review controversial changes to proposed social studies standards.

But if you want to volunteer, do it quickly: the deadline is Wednesday.

The offer comes in the wake of public outcry over deletions of gay rights, Roe v. Wade and climate change and the diminishment of civil rights history from standards for classes from kindergarten through 12th grade. The proposed standards also delete the word “democratic” from the phrase “core democratic values.”

The education department is looking for a task force of about 100 people, divided into six subgroups for different grade ranges and topics, as well as a bias review team. Each subcommittee will be chaired by two of the original social studies authors to maintain continuity in the process, according to an MDE news release.

Michigan residents have until Wednesday to complete an online application. Then, the education department will select task force members based on educational background, teaching experience, ethnic/cultural diversity, and geographic diversity.   In addition to social studies educators, school administrators and academicians, the task force will include students, teachers, parents, and community members.

The task force will weigh feedback the department received in public hearings over the past five months and in more than 4,000 online comments on proposed social studies standards.  

The goal of the department is to have changes to the proposed standards completed by the end of the year.

Bridge Magazine first revealed the proposed revisions in June, advanced by conservative newcomers to a focus group discussing revisions. The proposals quickly garnered national attention.

Michigan’s social studies standards were last changed in 2007. The education department has been working to revise them for four years.

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