Betsy DeVos releases final changes to campus sexual assault policies

Now, under reworked federal rules, alleged student perpetrators will have added protections, including the presumption that they are innocent throughout the disciplinary process and the right to be provided all evidence collected against them. Those students can also cross-examine their accusers and vice versa during live hearings, although it must be done through a lawyer or representative.

…They come after the Education Department “heard from too many students whose careers were tarnished by administrators without any resemblance to due process,” Kenneth Marcus, the agency’s assistant secretary of civil rights, told reporters. “This must stop.”

…Misconduct must fall under certain categories, including unwelcome conduct that is “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” that it “denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”

Betsy DeVos releases final changes to campus sexual assault policies

hmm

Texas Revises History Education, Again

The resulting standards were so flawed that even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute blasted them. The institute’s scorching 2011 review of state US history standards characterized the Texas standards as “a politicized distortion of history.” Among other things, noted the report, the standards offered an “uncritical celebration of ‘the free enterprise system and its benefits,’” completely overlooked Native Americans, downplayed slavery, barely mentioned the Black Codes or Jim Crow, and dismissed the separation of church and state as a constitutional principle.

But beyond politics, the 2010 process created problems for teachers in the classroom. The standards posed an instructional challenge because, says Quinn, they became “long and unwieldy.”

…What’s happening in Texas, says Gonzales, is a “classic content-versus-skills debate”—teachers would like more class time focusing on teaching such skills as historical thinking, but there is little consensus on how to assess them. Content knowledge, conversely, is easily measured and therefore remains in place, despite its many flaws. Most teachers inevitably find themselves teaching to the test. But as Calder and Steffes write, “The problem with including content knowledge as a goal for assessment is the question of which knowledge to test.” This is one reason why it has become impossible in Texas to separate politics from history education.

Texas Revises History Education, Again | Perspectives on History | AHA

sigh…

Texas’s board of education drives how poorly we teach history

When the 15-member Texas State Board of Education voted preliminarily last Friday on streamlining cuts to the state’s social studies curriculum, it made its usual splash. The verdict: Moses (whose “principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents”), the “heroic” defenders of the Alamo and the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel” as the source of Middle East conflict stay in. Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller are out.

Since 1917, when Texas law authorized the state board to purchase textbooks for all of its schools, a small group of people has held a great deal of power over what young Texans learn and how. And that group of people, largely non-educators, has long been influenced by conservative activist groups.

In the early 1920s, religious conservatives, including the Klan, induced the state board to forbid references to evolution in Texas textbooks.

Today, in a changed political atmosphere, liberals still lack voice on the state board. Democrats occupy just five of 15 seats. Most members lack any public school teaching experience.

And all of this has a deep national impact. Even with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards elsewhere, Texas has maintained a special sway over the content of textbooks that serve students across the United States. During the Cold War, Texas shaped the work of every major national textbook publisher. Today, one of every 10 public school students in the United States is a Texan, and publishers still don’t want to print books that can’t be used in the state. [emphasis: Peanut Gallery]

…More than the inclusion of any particular event or figure, it is this deeply simplistic, often anti-historical approach that presents the greatest obstacle to [American] students learning how the past can inform contemporary problems and debates.

…This approach fails to teach students about the often complicated, sometimes painful reality of our nation’s history, with its equal parts violence, dispossession and disenfranchisement and democracy, individual freedoms and justice.

Once again, Texas’s board of education exposed how poorly we teach history – The Washington Post