NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: FEBRUARY 3, 2010


State Superintendent June Atkinson today said that North Carolina's draft revised social studies curriculum actually increases the amount of time students will spend studying United States history.

"Our goal is to give students more study of United States history and to teach it in a way that helps them remember what they have learned," said State Superintendent Atkinson. "Students will have United States history three times before high school, and in high school they will have at least two more courses. The events, people and dates that are so familiar to many of us will still be taught to students. That means everything from early exploration through the Civil War, the 20th century and today."

National media coverage of the state's initial draft revision of the social studies standards this week included an incomplete description of the new standards, which are slated for several rounds of revision before being finalized.

North Carolina's social studies standards are being revised to provide students more time to study United States history by providing a full year of U.S. history in both elementary school and middle school. Currently, students do not have a full year of U.S. history in elementary school, and they do not study U.S. history in middle school. The process of revising the curriculum standards has just begun, and the current draft is expected to undergo several revisions in coming months.

Students would build on that study in high school Civics and Economics and in U.S. History. The high school Civics course includes learning about our nation's development and foundation. The high school U.S. History course would begin with 1877, the end of Reconstruction, in order to give students and teachers time to study our nation's history in more depth. The years prior to reconstruction would have been covered with students three times before - in fourth grade (as part of North Carolina history) in fifth grade and in seventh grade.

A wide range of elective U.S. History and other history courses also would be available to students who wish to continue history study in high school.

North Carolina's current curriculum, as well as the proposed draft, are available online.

The revised standards will continue to be refined before the N.C. State Board of Education considers them later this year.

For more information, please contact the Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.