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This is wonderful. Thank you. Do the standards have a formal name? For instance, they are the "Standards of Learning" in Virginia.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jan Martin
To: ARN-L@listsrva.CUA.EDU
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 1999 8:04 PM


Having lost track of the various strands of discussion in relation to standards but inferring what is needed, here is an example of a Social Studies Standard from the newly adopted standards in South Dakota.
This is a World History standard for 6th grade.
Students will analyze the geographic, political, economic, and social structures of the early civilization of Ancient Greece with emphasis on the location and physical setting that supported the rise of this civilization; the connections between geography and the development of city-states including patterns of trade and commerce; the transition from tyranny and oligarchy to early democratic forms of government and the significance of citizenship; the differences between Athenian, or direct, democracy and representative democracy; the significance of Greek mythology to the everyday life of people in ancient Greece and its influence on modern literature and language; the similarities and differences between the life in Athens and Sparta; the rise of Alexander the Great in the north and the spread of Greek culture; and the cultural contributions in the areas of arts, science, language, architecture, government and philosophy.

So how many of us learned all of that about ancient Greece when we were in 6th grade?

So this is one of the 8 world history standards prescribing what should be taught at the 6th grade. The writers of the standards determined that ancient history was to be the major focus of 6th grade social studies so there are no other areas of social studies included in the 6th grade standards. However, if a school doesn't do it at this time, there is no way of knowing until the 8th grade when one or two items on the Social Science subtest of the SAT9 might ask a question related to one of the many concepts in that one standard.

I will be happy to supply more information about the standards in South Dakota. They are a good example of how the standards mania has gotten out of control in a big way.
Jan Martin
Todd County School District
jmartin@tcsdk12.org

"Gerald W. Bracey" wrote:

USA Today will likely print my essay on the standards madness, but one of my example items can't be confirmed. Can anyone supply actual items that are far beyond what kids' and knowledge would accomodate and supply as well ways of verifying these items?