They asked our opinion. Here’s the survey:
Here’s the proposed standards:
The changes I suggested in the survey are listed in red:
SS.K.CL.1.1 Identify the purpose for rules and laws in the home, school and community.
● Students will define rules as standards of responsible behavior (e.g., rules for home and school).
● Students will define laws as a system of rules intended to protect people and property which are created and enforced by government (e.g., follow the speed limit).
● Students will identify the difference between rules and laws.
● Students will identify what happens without rules and laws.
SS.K.CL.1.2 Define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.
● Students will recognize that the United States has a constitution.
● Students will identify the words “We the People” as found in the United States Constitution
I’d hate for Kindergarteners to learn that the Constitution is merely a rule that won’t be enforced by our government. I suggest they change the SS.K.CL.1.2 benchmark from
Define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules
Define a constitution as the supreme law of the land.
SS.K.CL.2.3 Define patriotism as a love of one’s country.
● Students will identify the patriotic holidays and observances (e.g., American Founders Month, Celebrate Freedom Week, Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Patriot Day, Veterans Day).
I don’t see how the clarification helps explain the benchmark. Delete this clarification:
Students will identify the patriotic holidays and observances (e.g., American Founders Month, Celebrate Freedom Week, Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Patriot Day, Veterans Day)
SS.K.CL.2.4 Recognize symbols that represent the United States.
● Students will recognize the American flag, Pledge of Allegiance and United States currency as symbols that represent the United States.
● Students will identify “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” as the Pledge of Allegiance.
Delete currency as one of the symbols.
Add these symbols:
Liberty Bell, the Statute of Liberty
Students will identify when “under god” was added to the pledge of allegiance and discuss if it makes atheists uncomfortable
SS.K.CL.2.5 Recognize symbols that represent Florida.
● Students will recognize Florida’s state flag as a symbol that represents the state
Delete that benchmark. How does it help? Some founding fathers were reportedly atheists and some Americans are atheists. It doesn’t feel right to push theism in a school that is supposed to be for all Americans.
SS.1.CL.2.4 Recognize symbols and individuals that represent the United States.
● Students will recognize the Bald Eagle, the United States President, Uncle Sam, and national motto (“In God We Trust”) as symbols that represent the United States.
● Students will recognize Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. as individuals who represent the United States.
Delete the benchmark or add: The modern motto of the United States of America, as established in a 1956 law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is “In God we trust”. The 1956 law was the first establishment of an official motto for the country, although E Pluribus Unum (“from many, one”) was adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782 as the motto for the Seal of the United States. Many Americans are atheists which means they don’t believe in a god. In America, theists and atheists can live in harmony.
SS.1.CL.3.2 Recognize that the United States and Florida have Constitutions.
Students will define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.
Change “Students will define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.”
To: Students will define our Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
SS.3.CL.1.2 Describe how the United States government gains its power from the people.
● Students will define popular sovereignty.
● Students will recognize what is meant by the consent of the governed.
● Students will identify sources of consent (e.g., voting and elections).
● Students will recognize that the United States republic is government by the “consent of the governed” and government power is exercised through representatives of the people.
Government power is exercised through representatives of the people.
Elected representatives who abuse their power can be removed from office during an election, impeachment and recalls.
SS.3.CL.2.5 Recognize symbols, individuals, documents and events that represent Florida.
● Students will recognize the Great Seal of the Florida as a symbol that represents the state.
● Students will recognize William Pope Duval and William Dunn Moseley as individuals who represent Florida.
● Students will recognize the Declaration of Rights in the Florida Constitution as a document that represents Florida.
● Students will recognize that Florida became the 27th state of the United States on March 3, 1845
I don’t see what this has to do with civics. Delete this benchmark.
SS.4.CL.2.3 Identify ways Florida citizens can show respect for their state.
● Students will recognize ways for showing respect for Florida (e.g., cleaning up litter, showing care for wildlife, keeping waterways clean, putting flags on veterans’ graves, cleaning graffiti from public spaces and tending public gardens).
Instead of “state”, it should say community.
SS.4.CL.3.3 Identify the United States as a constitutional republic.
● Students will identify a constitutional republic as a symbol of the United States.
● Students will recognize that Florida has a representative government.
Change “constitutional republic” to “democratic constitutional republic.”
As a republic’s most unique feature, a constitution, enables it to protect the minority from the majority by interpreting and, if necessary, overturning laws made by the elected representatives of the people. In the United States, the Constitution assigns this function to the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. The Constitution was meant to foster a complex form of majority rule, not enable minority rule. American constitutional design can best be understood as an effort to establish a sober form of democracy. It did so by embracing representation, the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the protection of individual rights
SS.5.CL.1.4 Discuss arguments for adopting a republican form of government.
● Students will identify Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments supporting and opposing the ratification of the United States Constitution.
● Students will explain what is meant by a representative government
Add: Students will explain what it means to be a democratic republic with checks and balances to keep the majority from abusing the minority and to keep the elected representatives from abusing their power.
SS.7.CL.1.3 Explain the influence of religion (Hebraic and Christian) on America’s founding ideas about law and government.
● Students will recognize ideas contained in the founding documents (e.g., due process of law, equality of mankind, limited government, natural rights, the rule of law) have origins in religious texts.
● Students will identify “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as God-given rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
● Students will explain what is meant by the phrase “all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…” as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
● Students will describe how religious ideas (e.g., due process of law, equality of mankind, limited government, natural rights, the rule of law) influenced America’s Founding ideals and documents.
Delete this benchmark. Religion should be taught in the home and religious institutions. Keep the schools nonsectarian so everyone feels welcome. Please make every neighborhood school GREAT. Let people get their version of religion at their home and religious institution.
SS.7.CL.3.10 Analyze the effects of landmark Supreme Court cases on law, liberty and the interpretation of the United States Constitution.
● Students will recognize landmark Supreme Court cases (e.g., Marbury v. Madison; Dred Scott v. Sandford; Plessy v. Ferguson; Brown v. Board of Education; Gideon v. Wainwright; Miranda v. Arizona; In re Gault; United States v. Nixon; Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier).
● Students will use primary sources to assess the significance of each United States Supreme Court case.
● Students will evaluate the impact of each case on society.
● Students will recognize and/or apply constitutional principles and/or rights in relation to the relevant United States Supreme Court decisions
The “e.g.” list doesn’t include them all.
SS.7.CL.3.13 Explain the advantages of capitalism and a free market system over government-controlled economic systems (e.g., socialism and communism) in generating economic
prosperity for all citizens.
● Students will recognize various economic systems (e.g., capitalism, communism, socialism).
● Students will identify the relationship between various economic systems and the ideal of freedom.
● Students will analyze scenarios describing various forms of economic systems.
Revise the benchmark. The simple terms “capitalism” and “socialism” obscure the fact we have some government controlled systems such as police departments. Also we have regulated capitalism not a complete free market system.
SS.912.CL.4.1 Discuss how liberty and economic freedom generate broad-based opportunity and prosperity in the United States.
● Students will differentiate between government systems (e.g., autocracy, democracy, monarchy, oligarchy republic, theocracy).
● Students will differentiate between economic systems (e.g., capitalism, communism, mixed market, socialism).
● Students will analyze the disadvantages of authoritarian control over the economy (e.g., communism and socialism) in generating broad-based economic prosperity for their population.
Add: Brainstorm solutions to the problem of poverty and wages too low to survive without some form of welfare.