Local leader to head program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 8, 2004

Alabama public school systems maybe receiving a new and improved social studies curriculum today, when the Alabama Department of Education votes whether to accept it or not. This new curriculum has come under fire from some of the more conservative groups in Alabama saying, that its showing America in a bad taste.

The curriculum has been criticized because it doesn’t require the students to memorize important facts of American History. Things like the start of the Civil War, the signing of the Constitution and so on.

Superintendent of Sumter County Schools and Chairman of the 35-member committee that developed the new curriculum Lula Larkin said this new curriculum is anything but Anti-American. She also said when she was appointed to the committee, she was told to update the 1998 curriculum to include the presidential initiative ‘No Child Left Behind’.

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Larkin said its funny that all of these groups come out now and talk about the new curriculum, especially since every public library and school system received a copy of the changes back in January. She also said the committee looked at some of the changes people wanted and they were made to the curriculum back in February.

“We wanted to give the public a chance to look over the changes and send us some ideas,” Larkin said.

She said there were some things they wanted to add to the social studies curriculum, but didn’t like the words ‘Cultural Diverse’. She said they were told to not use these words, but instead they used cultural awareness when describing the cultures in America today.

“Everyone knows that the people of America have different cultures and that is what makes us great, is because we are all different,” Larkin said.

Larkin and the rest of the 35-member committee have the support of the Interim State Schools Superintendent Joe Morton. He said he supports the proposal that was developed by the group of educators and community leaders.

“I think it’s a pretty solid document,” Morton said. “It builds on what was already a nationally recognized course of study and has improved it.”