Sunday, October 13, 2002

Teachers want say in lesson plan




By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — An award-winning history teacher says he's upset that the state school board is planning a vote on guidelines for teaching social studies before hearing testimony on the proposal.

The board's nine-member standards committee is scheduled to vote tonight to recommend passage of the social-studies standards. The full board will meet Tuesday morning to vote on its intent to pass the proposal. A final vote will come at the board's monthly meeting in December.

Tom Peet, a history teacher at Westerville North High School, said he believes the best strategy is to convince at least five members of the standards committee to make the changes he's after.

But he's not permitted to address the board until a Tuesday afternoon hearing that will take place after the votes by the committee and the full board.

Mr. Peet sometimes dresses in Renaissance attire when he teaches about that period of history and plans to do the same for his testimony to the board.

Mr. Peet said he and several other veteran history and social studies teachers in Franklin County have run into obstacles trying to make their voices heard.

Standards committee chairman Thomas McClain said the teachers will have a fair chance to be heard.

“There's plenty of time for public input. There will be public testimony Tuesday afternoon and again in November,” he said.

Mr. Peet and many of his colleagues don't have a problem with what the standards suggest be taught, but they are concerned with the time sequence proposed.

Under the proposal, world history through 1750 would be taught in seventh grade, and eighth-graders would learn about U.S. history through 1877. Modern world and U.S. history would come in the ninth and 10th grades.

Critics say that early world history is a subject too weighty for 12- and 13-year-olds.



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