UPDATE: Welcome Carolina Plott Hound Readers!
With all the crazy examples of ‘modified’ teaching of the U.S. Constitution floating around out there coupled with the fundamentally flawed and experimental Common Core Standards, parents these days have to scrutinize what is being put to their kids more than ever. Take the example sent to me from Buncombe County, North Carolina. In April, a 9th grade student in Buncombe county schools found themselves answering “E” to this question:
8. Which best demonstrates the US Constitution is a “living” document?
A. Over 20 Amendments are added to the Constitution each year.
B. Extends rights of criminals so that they can have equal justice under the law.
C. There have been 27 Amendments added to the Constitution.
D. The President, with the help of his cabinet, can make revisions to the Constitution.
I guess it’s a testament to what that student learned if they chose “E”.
Buncombe County School Board Member, Lisa Baldwin, looked into the matter to determine where this question originated. She received this response from the Superintendent:
17:26 (3 hours ago)
to Amy, Ann, Chip, Chris, Constance, Dean, Dusty, Pat, me, Bob, Susanne
Mrs. Baldwin, regarding the Civics and Economics benchmark question (Which best demonstrates that the US Constitution is a “living” document?) our curriculum staff found that a match existed within our state standard course of study in social studies. The exact wording from the NCDPI Civics and Government Essential Standards reads as follows: Evaluate the U.S. Constitution as a “living” Constitution in terms of how the words in the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been interpreted and applied throughout their existence (e.g., precedents, rule of law, stare decisis, judicial review, supremacy, equal protections, “establishment clause”, symbolic speech, due process, right to privacy. etc). I hope this provides some additional clarification. I have copied fellow board members in the event they have a similar question asked of them. Have a nice weekend!
TB Board members please do not respond to this email. All school business must be conducted in an official board meeting and all electronic communications are subject to public inspection in accordance with the Public Records Law. If you have thoughts or comments you would like to share with me or with other board members please do so in person or at a board meeting.
The NCDPI document referenced that the information cited is pulled from is the NC DPI Civics & Economics Crosswalks. It’s section “CE.C and G2.3” on page 15 (or 6 of 30 per the page numbering) of the PDF document. There are no specific test questions that match the Buncombe Civics test in the NC DPI document nor in other social studies testing or End of Course (EOC) testing samples.
Mrs. Baldwin verified that this is a Benchmark Test developed by curriculum specialists at the Buncombe County Central Office. I’d be interested to see who the specialist that created this question is and have them explain it.