Letters to the Editor

Holocaust isn’t the only important topic SC students might not get taught

Letter to The States editorial board

NYT

The Holocaust wasn’t the only important topic left out of the proposed S.C. social studies standards (“‘Holocaust’ left out of proposed guidelines,” Dec. 16).

There’s also no reference to analyzing the effects of the media on the political process, which is specifically listed in the U.S. standards for civics education: “Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the influence of the media on American political life.”

There is some vague reference in the S.C. standards for high school, but my experience writing standards in our state has demonstrated that teachers want and need specificity. As the spokesman for the state Education Department said, if it’s not mentioned, it won’t be taught.

Unfortunately, simply reinstating this standard does not guarantee it will be taught either. Educators know what is on the test, and for the most part, they teach to the test. Sadly, media literacy is not part of this instruction.

Studying the role of the media is especially important considering the criticism leveled on it in the past year by the president.

Frank W. Baker

Columbia

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