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Substantive changes made in the "third draft" to the
Citizen Committee proposed Social Studies Standards

March 10, 2004

A. Some changes remove the understanding that the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence are genuine and universal. Some changes reflect the idea that the principles of the Declaration may have been fine for people who lived 200 years ago, but they do not necessarily apply to us today. That is, national sovereignty, the right to life, property rights and the like were believed by the early Americans, but that was then, and now is now. The following changes move us in that direction:

B. At three different locations the third draft adds issues of controversy to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (pp. 13, 36, and 57). The message is, our founding principles not only fail to apply to us today, they were all matters of great controversy anyway.

C. The comparisons between the principles of American system of government and other systems of government are diluted.

D. Language is added to tilt the standards in a more negative direction regarding America. There are plenty of negative details about our country in the standards already.

E. "Land Use" issues are added. There are already several references to land use in the standards. These are substantive add-ons to Citizen Committee approach;

F. Process or methodology words are added that are not objective or testable, as state law requires. Certain controversial teaching methodology asserts that students only learn as it relates to their own lives (constructivism). These were major components of the Profile of Learning:

G. Non-specific analysis requirements are added that are not testable and that steer the standards toward a controversial or partisan worldview: