Daily Archives: January 13, 2011

Tennessee Tea Party activists demand changes to curriculum

In a move reminiscent of the recent textbook battles in Texas (see my post from last fall), the  Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) reports:

Members of Tennessee tea parties presented state legislators with five priorities for action Wednesday, including… “educating students the truth about America” [sic].About two dozen tea party activists held a news conference, then met with lawmakers individually to present their list of priorities and “demands” for the 2011 legislative session that opened Tuesday.

Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government…”

The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

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Major changes in store for Advanced Placement program

The New York Times reports:

Next month, the board, the nonprofit organization that owns the A.P. exams as well as the SAT, will release a wholesale revamping of A.P. biology as well as United States history — with 387,000 test takers the most popular A.P. subject. A preview of the changes shows that the board will slash the amount of material students need to know for the tests and provide, for the first time, a curriculum framework for what courses should look like. The goal is to clear students’ minds to focus on bigger concepts and stimulate more analytic thinking. In biology, a host of more creative, hands-on experiments are intended to help students think more like scientists.

The changes, which are to take effect in the 2012-13 school year, are part of a sweeping redesign of the entire A.P. program. Instead of just providing teachers with a list of points that need to be covered for the exams, the College Board will create these detailed standards for each subject and create new exams to match.

Virginia seeks to regulate student-teacher interactions via social media

The Washington Post reports:

The Virginia Board of Education is considering its first statewide guidelines for the prevention of sexual misconduct in public schools in response to recent abuse cases…

The proposed guidelines would target behavior that has led to student sexual abuse, and they seek to limit situations that could blur the lines in a teacher-student relationship. The guidelines suggest strict limits on communication, physical contact and socializing with students.

Among the behaviors that Virginia seeks to regulate are interactions over social networking sites such as Facebook and via electronic communication, such as text messaging.