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State to create new K-12 history, social science curriculum

Current textbooks don't mention 9/11 tragedy or election of Barack Obama as president, state senator says

The California Department of Education will develop new history and social science lessons for K-12 classes after Gov. Jerry Brown signed new legislation authorizing the move Saturday.

Oakland state Senator Loni Hancock authored S.B. 1540, which allows the state to revise how history and social science are taught in public schools. A new framework for such teaching was developed in 2009, but its adoption was suspended due to budget cuts.

The curriculum currently being used in California public schools was developed in 1998. Existing law prohibited the California Board of Education from developing new history and social-science coursework until

2015.

"It is a serious shortcoming that our basic instructional materials are so outdated," Hancock said. "California textbooks don't even mention the 9/11 tragedy or the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.

"We have an obligation to students and teachers to ensure that California schools will have materials that reflect the contributions of the many diverse cultural and religious groups in this country, as well as events in the second decade of this century - and not just those prior to 1998," Hancock said.

Beth Winegarner, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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