All just a big misunderstanding, interim Superintendent John McDonough says today: Although BPS is trying to increase better integration of history texts in English class, it's not folding history and social studies into the English Language Arts department. In a statement, McDonough writes:
It is not being eliminated or folded into English Language Arts, which is also its own department and sits alongside History in our organizational structure. Both are crucial. They will remain as distinct departments, just as they do today.
History and Social Studies teachers will continue to teach History and Social Studies in our schools. Despite what you may have heard, English teachers are not being asked to take over the teaching of History and Social Studies.
Instead, we are improving and coordinating the use of instructional materials throughout all subject areas. This means we will improve our ability to support English teachers who wish to take advantage of historical lessons in their classes, and for History and Social Studies teachers who wish to take advantage of literature that frames an understanding of historical content. This is different than eliminating one course and asking another subject to take it over. This is about coordinating our curriculum at all levels and connecting the dots for students. To help us do this successfully, we are bringing these areas together under the Humanities umbrella. This allows us to maintain separate History and Social Studies, English Language Arts and World Languages departments while aligning ourselves academically to promote interdisciplinary cross-collaboration.
A BPS curriculum Web page that yesterday seemed to indicate the departments were being blended has been replaced today with a copy of McDnough's statement.
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