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letters | teaching skills in schools

Special-interest groups shouldn’t get to guide Mass. curriculum

RE “FIRMS call for tech classes” (Page A1, June 11): For many years there have been a small group of dedicated people working to get civic education into local schools. Today 29 states require civics education, but not Massachusetts. The common objection to requiring civics education is the inability to push one more requirement into the curriculum. Now, we have another special-interest group requesting access to our schools’ curriculum. Business claims they need better trained individuals. I, and many others, maintain we need better trained citizens.

Without knowledgeable citizens, our democracy will fail. “Civic illiteracy makes us less likely to exercise freedom by understanding and engaging in our public life,” warns Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream. “Failure to achieve and maintain this understanding inevitably makes us more susceptible to manipulation and abuses of power.” The Commonwealth’s focus on testing is the overriding concern of most administrators. Most strongly object to additional requirements. Let’s see it the legislators find the pressure to please business more important than that to create good citizens.

Ellen Barber-Morse

State Coordinator,
We the People: Project Citizen

Dartmouth

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