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OSDE announces 'overhaul' of state social studies standards, review board

Ryan Walters
Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 10, 2024

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced a "complete overhaul" of the state's social studies standards on July 9.

State Superintendent Ryan Walters said the new approach will "ensure the social studies standards are chronologically sound, reinforced, and reiterated through a student’s primary and secondary education, will empower schools to teach from primary sources, and will inspire in students a love of country and a proper understanding of the American founding."

This includes Walters' recent move to require the Bible to be incorporated in the classroom.

Okla. Dept. of Education to require Bible taught in schools

The new standards were announced in a press release that said these new standards will ensure "social studies reflect accuracy and not political slanted viewpoints."

Walters said this will also ensure Oklahoma standards are more in line with a classical learning model.

2 News asked OSDE for examples of these new standards. OSDE's Director of Communications, Dan Isett, simply shared this link with us, which was last updated on May 6 and did not have any information on new standards.

Along with saying they announced new standards, OSDE announced a list of people who will "help craft new academic standards."

We also asked OSDE if these people would be paid by the state and only received the link above.

Here's the list of people shared by OSDE, which they said was a partial list at the time of release. The biographies were shared by OSDE.

Dennis Prager - Dennis Prager is an American radio talk show host and writer, known for hosting The Dennis Prager Show and co-founding PragerU in 2009. With a background in history and Middle Eastern Studies from Brooklyn College, Prager has authored several books, and has extensive experience in educational and public discourse.

Robert Pondiscio - Robert Pondiscio is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, focusing on K–12 education, school choice, and charter schooling. Previously, he was a policy analyst at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a teacher in the South Bronx. He is the author of several books, including How the Other Half Learns, and has written for The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal. Pondiscio holds an MS in elementary education from Mercy College and a BA in English from SUNY Empire State College.

David Barton - David Barton is an American author and the founder of WallBuilders, LLC, an organization focused on America’s founding principles. A lifelong resident of Aledo, Texas, Barton graduated from Aledo High School and earned a B.A. in religious education from Oral Roberts University.

Dr. Kevin Roberts - Kevin D. Roberts, PhD, became President of The Heritage Foundation in October 2021. Previously, he served as CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, expanding its national influence. With a PhD in American History, Roberts focuses on conservative policy solutions across key issues like education, health care, and border security, aiming to counter the socialist agenda.

Everett PiperEverett Piper served as President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University from 2002 to 2019. Piper is the author of Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth and contributes columns to The Washington Times. He holds a B.A. from Spring Arbor University, an M.A. from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Piper is a frequent commentator on media outlets including Fox News and The Washington Times.

John Dwyer - John Dwyer, author and journalist, has deep roots in Oklahoma, where his family settled shortly after statehood. He began his career in journalism, eventually founding the Dallas-Fort Worth Heritage newspaper. Dwyer later returned to Oklahoma to write The Oklahomans, recognized with the Will Rogers Medallion Award. His other works include historical narratives and novels, reflecting his commitment to rigorous historical scholarship. Dwyer and his wife, Grace, reside in Oklahoma, where they are active in community and cultural endeavors.

David Goodwin - David Goodwin was raised on an Idaho farm and has been involved in classical Christian education for over three decades. He coauthored Raise the Song: A Classical Christian Guide to Music Education and has written extensively for Classical Christian Times and The Classical Difference Magazine. Goodwin served as headmaster of The Ambrose School for 13 years and is currently the president of the Association of Classical Christian Schools.

Mark Bauerlein - Mark Bauerlein is an English professor emeritus at Emory University and senior editor of First Things. He earned his doctorate in English from UCLA and taught at Emory University from 1989 to 2018, with a brief tenure at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2005. Bauerlein is known for his books including The Dumbest Generation and The Dumbest Generation Grows Up, and his writings in publications like The Federalist and The Wall Street Journal.

Steve Deace - Steve Deace is an American talk show host and author, known for his program The Steve Deace Show on Blaze Media. With a background in journalism and a passion for public discourse, Deace has authored several books and has a strong commitment to education and community engagement.

Stacy Washington – Stacy Washington is the co-chairwoman of the Project 21 National Advisory Council of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Stacy is an Emmy Nominated TV personality and documentarian, serving as host of Missouri, Best in the Midwest. Stacy is a decorated Air Force Veteran (and the fourth generation to serve in the armed forces in her family). Stacy was an elected member of her local school district’s Board of Education serving as Vice President, Board Secretary, and Director.

2 News is working to learn more about how this will impact Oklahoma teachers and students. Stay tuned.

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