Freshmen who enter high school in 2012 must pass two U.S. History classes to graduate.
The North Carolina State Board of Education approved a modified curriculum for public schools on Thursday, December 2.
The revisions expanded the study of U.S. History from one year to two in an effort to allow students and teachers to spend more time on mastering of the material.
“U.S. History on one semester is currently focused on just the nuts and bolts of the state curriculum. Shifting to a two course structure will allow more opportunities for review and enrichment,” said Mr. Andy Hunt, U.S. History teacher, in an interview via email.
AP U.S. History student Morgan Burke said, “We only have ninety days to learn everything from people crossing the Bering Strait to G.W. Bush’s presidency for an EOC and an AP exam.”
“It would be so much easier and slower as two semesters. It should never have been only one semester; there’s too much to learn. It can’t be condensed without losing some important stuff,” said Scott Levy, senior.
“I think I will be more likely to include more outside resources than just the textbook. Doing this will give students a greater appreciation of how people actually felt about the times that they lived through,” said Hunt. “I currently use outside material for class, but the extra time would give me the opportunity to allow the students to sift through and analyze material for themselves.”
Two months after a draft proposal that would limit high school U.S. history from 1877 to the present, the Board of Education approved a class that will examine history in two parts, before and after the Reconstruction.
Beyond the changes for teachers’ curriculums, students’ schedules and class options will be effected. With one more required class, students’ elective options are further limited in two ways: first, they will have one less “slot” for an elective due to another mandatory class.
“Electives are students’ only option to take classes they enjoy. If I had been forced to take year-long U.S. History, I may have had to drop Capital Pride in order to maintain my GPA,” said Morgan Burke.
Also, Social Studies teachers will have less availability to teach Social Studies electives, like A.P. Government, Psychology, and European History.