The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) has received some media attention recently for its attempts to restructure the standard curriculum for public high school students in the state. A look at the department website reveals that the social studies area of a students’ education will include three mandatory classes. These three classes are global issues, civics and economics, and US history. The US history course would only begin after the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the global studies course appears to go back only as far as 1945, and the civics and economics course covers only the foundations of the US government.
A quick search of the proposed standards for each course reveals a shocking omission. Not once in any of the three courses, as defined by the department’s website, was the Civil War mentioned. The only time that the term “civil war” is mentioned in the documents is in the outline of the global studies course which states that students should: “analyze the origin of political revolutions and civil wars and their influence on individuals, governing bodies and diplomacy.” The document suggests that students should discuss the finer points of the Sudanese Civil War but does not specifically mention the American Civil War.
The Civil War has had major implications on the entire American political system and marked the end of slavery in America. North Carolina, as most everyone knows because they studied the Civil War in their high school history course, was one of the states that joined the Confederacy. Why would the NC DPI omit the Civil War? Your guess is as good as mine.
Check out the courses here: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/phase2/
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