ERIC Number: EJ930037
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May-11
Reference Count: N/A
Lawmakers Set Curricular Demands
Robelen, Erik W.
Education Week, v30 n30 p1, 18 May 2011
It's not unusual for lawmakers to debate aspects of the American political system, but a recent discussion in Utah's House of Representatives wasn't merely theoretical. The bill under consideration, since signed into law, requires public schools to teach that the United States is a "compound constitutional republic." The curriculum also must provide a "thorough study" of key historical documents such as the U.S. Constitution, the Mayflower Compact, and Supreme Court decisions. Although decisions on what gets taught are usually seen as the purview of school districts and state school boards, the legislators in Utah aren't the first, and certainly won't be the last, state lawmakers to try to influence the curriculum. Other recent examples span the country and content areas--civics and science, financial literacy, arts education, sex education, and anti-bullying measures that call on schools to work the issue into health classes. Especially in a time of tight state and district budgets, and in the face of an already crowded curriculum, some observers suggest that such measures can prove particularly burdensome. But whether sponsored by Republicans or Democrats, the legislative proposals keep coming.
Descriptors: State Government, State Legislation, United States History, State Boards of Education, Course Content, History Instruction, Court Litigation, Public Schools, Educational Legislation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah