Local News

A new draft of history: Curriculum change defeated by negative feedback

Posted February 16, 2010 8:17 p.m. EST
Updated February 17, 2010 5:49 a.m. EST

— The state's Chief Academic Officer said Tuesday that a draft plan to revise the history curriculum in North Carolina public high schools is "dead on arrival."

Rebecca Garland made the comments during a meeting of the Education Legislative Joint Committee.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is in the early stages of a plan to change the curriculum statewide.

In an initial draft, DPI proposed splitting the study of U.S. history into two courses, with the early years of the republic to be covered in civics and economics classes in 10th grade and the focus of 11th-grade history to be on the era from 1877 to the present.

In more than 7,000 e-mails, the public expressed displeasure with that plan. The 115 school districts in the state have until March 2 to offer their feedback.

DPI has already begun work on a second draft proposal, Garland said. Among the options to be considered:

  • Requiring two courses of U.S. history in high school, with the first to cover up to 1877 and the second to cover 1877 to the present;
  • Requiring that U.S. history from 1877 to the present be taught in high school and allowing individual schools and districts to decide when to offer a course on the earlier years.

The second draft is expected to be made public sometime in April, and it, too, will be open to feedback from the public and the school systems before any changes would be implemented.