Delaware’s Flunking History
Delaware’s history standards received an F and are void of content or substance, according to the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation’s recently released report The State of State U.S History Standards 2011.
The report, which gave Delaware zero points for content, rigor, clarity, and specificity, highlights that Delaware standards are void of any specific content (e.g. the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776) that is aligned to our state’s succinct initial statement on the value and nature of historical study, which emphasizes change and interaction over time. Therefore, as the report states, our teachers are free to instruct their students based upon their own individual interpretation of history.
This lack of clarity and structure can lead to low/unclear expectations for student learning and a lack of framework (scope, sequence, rigor) on which teachers can collaborate to improve practice.
Delaware was not the only state to receive low marks. A majority of states (28) received a D or lower, with 18 states receiving an F. South Carolina was the only state to receive an A nationwide. Delaware’s flunking grade is a strong reversal from their previous 2003 report, which gave Delaware a B.