Editor’s Note: The National Association of Scholars (NAS) and the Civics Alliance work to ensure that every state has academic standards that promote first-rate education and protect school children from political indoctrination. We promote reform of content standards in every state, along the lines modeled by the Civics Alliance’s American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards, and we have been asked by Mississippi citizens to comment on the proposed 2022 Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards for Social Studies. We conclude that these proposed Standards should be substantially revised. 

We have sent the following letter to the Mississippi State Board of Education. Download the PDF here.

Mississippi State Board of Education
Department of Education
P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205-0771

October 24, 2022

Dear Mississippi State Board of Education,

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) and the Civics Alliance work to ensure that every state has academic standards that promote first-rate education and protect school children from political indoctrination. We promote reform of content standards in every state, along the lines modeled by the Civics Alliance’s American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards,1 and we have been asked by Mississippi citizens to comment on the Department of Education’s proposed 2022 Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards for Social Studies (Standards).2 We conclude that the Standards require substantial improvement—and that this improvement should be conducted by recruiting an independent commission to redraft new social studies standards.

The Proposed Standards: Significant Accomplishments

The proposed Standards possess significant accomplishments.

  • The Standards generally provide factual content, rather than imposing “skills” instruction that is frequently counter-productive and always reduces the time available to learn factual knowledge.
  • Large portions of the Standards, although not all, are written in unpoliticized language.
  • The Standards frequently include factual specificity, such as the names of individuals, laws, and events.
  • The Standards provide a good framework for European and United States history, although frequently keyed to provide a vague and hasty overview.

While our critiques of the Standards are substantial, we believe that the Department of Education did a great deal of good work in preparing these Standards.

Photo by Pieter van de Sande on Unsplash

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