They claim it has a 'progressive agenda.'
There's an effort underway to get a social studies text book removed from 3rd grade classrooms in Frederick County Public Schools. The push is coming from several parents who claim "Social Studies Alive! Our Community And Beyond" has a "progressive agenda." "It teaches that our government is more of a central government with all of the power centralized as opposed to state sovereignty. It tries to diminish the United States identity and pushes a more global identity," says Cindy Rose from Knoxville, who is one of the parents that objects to the book. She's also a Board of Education candidate.
She says she has no objections to students learning about this point of view and others, but that should take place in the upper grades. "Children should be learning about their government, and about the global community," she says. "But not as a global identity. Yes, there are other countries. But the way this book would phrase it is something like 'Japan makes great this, and Germany makes fabulous that. But the United States, they can do okay things.'"
She also says the text book tells children that their parents would have more money to buy food if the government provided families with free health care and child care.
Rose says she was told that the book was going to be removed, but that it would take some time. However Superintendent of Schools Dr. Theresa Alban says "the book has not been removed."
She says her office received complaints about the book, and a text book reconsideration committee met to discuss them. Members heard concerns from parents and teachers. "That committee presented recommendations to Mr. Steve Lockhardt, our Associate Superintendent, who gave a recommendation to me. And I made a decision," says Dr. Alban.
But she says there's an appeal process for the complainant. "My decision was shared with the complainants. They have 30 days to appeal my decision. So that is why the school system didn't release any information or share it with the press," says Dr. Alban. "However, one of the complainants shared her letter and the report."
The School System puts text books on display before they're used in the classroom to give parents and other citizens an opportunity to review them, and raise concerns. Rose said she didn't have the opportunity to look at "Social Studies Alive! Our Community and Beyond" when it was first introduced in 2004 because her child was not in school at the time.