LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe met with education officials and a group of historians yesterday to discuss a dispute over plans for new guidelines this fall for the teaching of Arkansas history in the public schools.
Beebe did not announce a decision after meeting at the Capitol with the officials behind closed doors for nearly an hour and a half. Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample called the discussion, "candid and spirited."
A group of historians has been publicly criticizing the new rules, saying they will water down the teaching of state history. The Arkansas History Education Coalition has called for a one-year moratorium on the guidelines.
Coalition president Tom Dillard said afterward that the meeting focused on whether to delay the new rules or to implement them and then review them a year later. Dillard said he would object to putting the rules in place even on a trial basis.
The decision whether to move forward with the new standards ultimately lies with the state Board of Education. DeCample says the governor will make a recommendation to the board at some point. He says delaying the rules or implementing them for a year on a trial basis were two options being considered.
About 20 people attended the meeting.