Critics say proposed changes to Michigan's social studies standards go too far, and have far-right fingerprints all over them.
Among the changes in a draft for K-12 standards
now under review call for removing all references to gay rights, Roe v. Wade
, and climate change, as well as scaling down references to the KKK and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to just one lone mention each. The proposal even calls for changing the phrase "core democratic values" to just "core values" in what some see as a novel interpretation of the word.
"Some believed that even using the word 'democratic' implied partisan leanings," Rebecca Baker-Bush, a social studies consultant who served on the standards committee, told Bridge
magazine. "That was a new one on me."
reports that the changes were drafted "through the influence of Republican state Sen. Patrick Colbeck and a cadre of conservatives." Colbeck has been described as "the most extreme of four conservative Republicans running for governor of Michigan" by the Detroit Free Press
Michigan teachers are free to teach subjects that aren't outlined in the standards, and the standards could still be tweaked as a result of public comments. Upcoming public feedback meetings will be held in metro Detroit from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at Oakland Intermediate School District, 2111 Pontiac Lake Rd., Waterford. Online comments can also be made here
. The review period ends June 30.
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