Michigan Department of Education holds public forum on curriculum changes

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Department of Education held a public forum in Marquette on Tuesday September 18th to receive input on proposed changes to the social studies education curriculum. The Listen and Learn session was one of several that have taken place across the state of Michigan in the past few months. After initially scheduling ten meetings, the amount of public input and interest prompted the state to schedule six additional meetings across the state.

The Department of Education received a considerable amount of backlash following reports that some of the changes were controversial and highly partisan, which included removing the word “democratic” from the curriculum.

“There were some stronger opinions from one political side than the other, and I think that the feedback is going just the other direction,” said Jim Cameron, the social studies consultant with the Michigan Department of Education. “I feel good about where we are right now that we’ve had feedback from across the political spectrum.”

Though these sessions will help them decide which changes will be made, there are still a few more steps that will take place before anything is finalized. Linda Forward, the senior executive policy advisor for the Michigan Department of Education, explained throughout the session the process that went into place that brought about these proposed changes, and where they are going to go from here.

“So we won’t do anything with the implementation of the changes until we finish all of the Listen and Learn Sessions,” Forward noted. “So two more after tonight. And then we’re taking all of that information and take that to a task force to work on rewriting–I don’t know about rewriting but at least responding to–what we’ve picked up across the state and figuring out where that might influence what’s been written and changing those standards to reflect what we’ve heard across the state.”

The Michigan Department of Education is still accepting online feedback until September 30th. To see the full list of proposed changes, or to fill out an online survey for the Michigan Department of Education, click here.