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Social Studies in Oregon
Amending the standards

SB 702, sponsored by Oregon Democrats, is an effort to establish a task force to review social studies that may work to exclude parents.

Currently, Oregon's content standards for K-12 schools are reviewed on a rotating basis by the State Board of Education. Notably, the Senate Committee on Education recently amended the bill SB 702 to direct the State Board of Education to review social studies standards.

Senator Knopp (R-Bend) submitted Amendment A-2, which was adopted by the committee, and that amendment at least added a parent to the list of contacts and the constitution as a point of instruction. It seems the original bill did not include that specific criteria.

What makes this bill of particular concern is the treatment of “standards,” which is supposed to incorporate research of social studies disciplines and best practices into a curriculum. The bill requires as a part of the review, the State Board of Education is to consult with any combination of the following but must include at least one person who is: It seems very notable that there are no experts in the discipline of social studies on that list.

ORS 329.045, requirements for review, specifically involves “teachers and other educators, parents of students and other citizens and shall provide ample opportunity for public comment.” One parent and one educator and no public comment does not seem to meet statutory requirements.

When conducting the review, the State Board of Education is also required to consider emphasizing civics education and making more accessible instruction related to: This raises a lot of questions. Do they intend to teach children a biased view of why violent riots in Portland or justify them as a social movement? Will that teaching include how violence is being condoned because it is associated with a social movement? Is this an attempt to incorporate Critical Race Theory into the curriculum?

How are Oregon students to achieve any success when they are not guided by best practices? Without public and parent input, how can parents stay involved in their children's lives.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-23 14:30:54Last Update: 2021-05-23 16:10:40

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