McDaniel: History Guidelines in Line with State Law

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says new guidelines for teaching history in public schools are not in conflict with state law.

The state Education Board changed the way Arkansas history is to be taught, combining social studies and Arkansas history into one subject for kindergarten through sixth grade.  The commission also requires the teaching of world history in seventh and eighth grades, typically when Arkansas history has been taught.

Historians complained that the change diminished emphasis on Arkansas history and said high school students could not opt out when the course is taught in grades 9-12.  State law requires that Arkansas history be offered to students in grades 7-12.

Governor Beebe earlier turned away a request from historians to block the change.  Representative Sue Madison of Fayetteville asked for an attorney general's opinion.  McDaniel's office concluded that the changes to how state history is taught are within the law's requirements.

State education officials say the changes will strengthen the teaching of Arkansas history.

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