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Disputing Textbooks: Standards

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This column series offers replies to what is published in the current “text books,” which are adopted by the State and school districts.

BY HAMILTON HANSON

The US was built on the precepts of Christianity from the days the Puritans arrived on Cape Cod in 1620, and the 18 paragraphs of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

While the Ten Commandments are a hard and fast set of rules, the Constitution can be amended for improvements.

But, in both cases, they, together, present the values of the culture of our nation. Messing with this value system, as we have seen since 1960, leads only to deterioration and eventual destruction.

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Here’s an example of where we, as a nation, stand today regarding standards: Today, personally, I have determined that I am 12 feet, 1.75 centimeters tall. That is my new standard. In current America, we can establish all the standards we wish, and can even, often, force them on to our fellow residents.

It’s called “inclusion”.

But, does this “inclusion” of two different measurements benefit anyone?

We have “absolute” standards in our distinct culture. In the first amendment to the Constitution, we have freedom of speech and peaceably to assemble. Those standards are absolute – until duly amended by the processes established in the Constitution itself.

And, we also have practical standards in our every day lives. By custom, originally, and now by law, we drive our vehicles on the right hand side of any/every road. We used to drink milk drawn directly from the cows and goats. As time progressed, we found ways to “purify” that original milk for better personal/human health.

In most of our years until 1960, men wore hats and tipped the brims to every lady he met along the walking way. That custom was abandoned when Candidate Kennedy staunchly refused to wear a hat during his inauguration. So, customs and standards can be changed and even lost based on the prominence of individuals or lack of need.

Standards in our schools are no different. However, our students must exit Grade 12 with the highest and best quality of “standard” information – commonly referred to as education. As technology and information has changed, so has and must education and its standards.

What has happened in the past 60 or so years is that new, untested, unproven programs and standards have been imposed on our teachers and students with no real basis in fact to improve our current social/cultural values.

Florida’s system is currently called Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards

As examples, the first standards for 4th grade Social Studies are:

SS.4.A.1.1 Analyze primary and secondary sources to identify significant individuals and events throughout Florida history.

Clarifications: Examples may include, but are not limited to, photographs, paintings, maps, artifacts, timelines, audio and video, letters and diaries, periodicals, newspaper articles, etc.

SS.4.A.1.2 Synthesize information related to Florida history through print and electronic media.

Clarifications: Examples may include, but are not limited to, encyclopedias, atlases, newspapers, websites, databases, audio, video etc.

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