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ASCD Express on "Why Social Studies Matters"

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The August 4 issue of _ASCD EXPRESS_ examines the importance of social studies and civic learning in schools, and includes an article by NCSS President Sue Blanchette.

smarrow.gif "Why Social Studies Matters", ASCD Express

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2011 Board of Directors Election Results

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Stephen Armstrong, a long-time social studies teacher and supervisor at both the secondary and college levels, has been elected vice-president of NCSS and is in line to assume the presidency in 2013-2014. Stephen is currently social studies department supervisor at William H. Hall High School and King Phillip Middle School in West Hartford, Connecticut, and an adjunct instructor of history at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut.

Stephen has served on the NCSS Board of Directors on two separate occasions and is the current chairperson of the NCSS Government and Public Relations committee. He is a past-president of Connecticut Council for the Social Studies and the New England History Teachers Association, and recently served on the committee that revised the Connecticut social studies standards.

Also elected to terms on the board of directors are Elyse Poller, a teacher at Mansfield Middle School, Mansfield, Connecticut; Terry Cherry, a teacher at Naaman Forest High School, Garland, Texas; Loraine Stewart, an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia; and Diane Hart, a curriculum developer, writer, and consultant, Menlo Park, California.

Newly elected members will begin their terms July 1, 2011. Sue Blanchette of Dallas, Texas, and John Moore of Bowling Green, Kentucky, begin their respective terms as NCSS president and president-elect on the same date. As president-elect, John Moore is in line to become president 2012-2013.

The 2011 election was the first NCSS election conducted online, a process that is more environmentally friendly and cost effective than the traditional paper ballot -- and it's more convenient for members. Of those who voted, 96 percent indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the new online voting.

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Goldberg Begins President Term at NCSS

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Silver Spring, Md. – September 6, 2010 – Steven A. Goldberg, a high school teacher and department chairman at New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York, is the new President of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the nation’s largest professional organization for social studies educators. He began his one-year term July 1, 2010.

Goldberg believes that without national recognition of the importance of a strong social studies program, students will not acquire the habits of mind to preserve the democratic institutions and values, which continue to be under attack. In his new role as President, he looks forward to continuing to promote social studies education as the cornerstone of citizenship education.

A proactive member of the local, state, and national social studies councils for more than two decades, Goldberg is past president of the NYSCSS, the Westchester-Lower Hudson Council for the Social Studies (WLHCSS), and the New York State Social Studies Supervisory Association (NYS4A) and has previously served on the NCSS Board of Directors, as NCSS House of Delegates steering committee chair and on several NCSS.

A consultant to the New York State Education Department, Goldberg has served on numerous Regents Examination Committees, as well as the design team for the revision of the mandated Global History and Geography course. He sits on the Westchester Holocaust and Human Rights Education Committee. He has received the WCSS Distinguished Social Studies Educator Award, the NYSCSS Distinguished Service Award and the NYS4A Leadership Award, among others. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Long Island University-Westchester Graduate Campus (Purchase, NY). Goldberg is an author of two world history texts:The Human Legacy (Holt) and Brief Review of Global History & Geography (Pearson) and is currently developing curricular materials on teaching contemporary Germany for the Goethe Institut.

Goldberg received his B.A. in history from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY), M.A. in East Asian studies from Yale University (New Haven, CT), and an administrator’s certificate from Teachers College, Columbia University (New York, NY). In addition, he has been a Fulbright Fellow to The Netherlands, studied at Sophia University in Tokyo, and traveled to Germany with the Goethe Institut.

Other NCSS officers beginning their one-year term as of July 1, 2010, are Sue Blanchette (Dallas, TX), President-Elect, and John Moore (Bowling Green, KY), Vice President. In addition, four newly elected NCSS board members will begin three-year terms on July 1: Melissa Collum (Clemson, SC), At-Large Representative; Peggy Jackson (Sandia Park, NM) Secondary Classroom Teacher Representative; Kim O’Neil (Liverpool, NY), Elementary Classroom Teacher Representative; Marian Mathison Desrosiers (West Barnstable, MA), K-12 Classroom Teacher-at-large Representative.

Founded in 1921, the National Council for the Social Studies has approximately 18,000 members including K-16 classroom teachers, curriculum supervisors and specialists, curriculum writers and designers, and teacher educators, and serves as an umbrella organization for teachers of civics, history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology and law-related education. Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. The theme for this year’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado, November 12-14, 2010 is “Vistas, Visions & Voices,” see: http://www.socialstudies.org/conference.
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A photograph of Goldberg is available at http://www.socialstudies.org/media_photos

For more information contact:
Ana Post
301.588.1800, Ext. 114
apost@ncss.org

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Blanchette Begins President-Elect Term at NCSS

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Silver Spring, Md. – September 8, 2010 – Susan (Sue) J. Blanchette, a former high school teacher in Dallas, Texas, is the new President-elect of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the nation’s largest professional organization for social studies educators. Blanchette began her 20010-11 term on July 1, 2010. She is in line to become NCSS President in 2011-12.

Blanchette is an advocate for the inclusion of social studies education at all levels. She believes that “all students are part of a larger community and must learn the history and skills necessary to exist in that community.” According to Blanchette, the role of NCSS is to put the importance of social studies education at the forefront of curriculum planning, standards revision and legislation to ensure that the students of today are ready to assume leadership roles in business and government and education tomorrow.

A veteran educator for more than 32 years, Blanchette brings to NCSS a wealth of experience. She taught both middle school and high school in the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), sponsored Mock Trial teams for 15 years, wrote curriculum for staff development in Dallas ISD, and participated on the school’s Faculty Advisory Committee. An active member of the local, state, and national social studies councils for more than two decades, she has served as president of the Dallas Council for the Social Studies (DCSS) in 1993, 1997, and 2005, and as president of Texas Council for the Social Studies (TCSS) in 2005. She has served as co-chair of the NCSS Nominations Committee and as a member of the NCSS Board of Directors (2007-09). Her teaching has earned her several awards, including the Texas Excellence Award given by the University of Texas and the TCSS and NCSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

Proactive in seeking opportunities to further enrich her knowledge and skills, Blanchette participated in a teacher exchange in Kyrgyzstan, was awarded two William Robertson Coe Fellowships, and most recently was a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in India.

Blanchette received a B.S. in history from Central Connecticut State University (1973), a MLA from Southern Methodist University (1989), and successfully completed her Texas Master Teacher Exam in 1990. In addition, she has done post-graduate studies at State University of New York at Stonybrook (1992 and 1993), and at Virginia Commonwealth University (1995).

Other NCSS officers beginning their one-year term as of July 1, 2010, are Steven Goldberg (Hasting-on-Hudson, NY), President, and John Moore (Bowling Green, KY), Vice President. In addition, four newly elected NCSS board members began their three-year terms on July 1: Melissa Collum (Clemson, SC), At-Large Representative; Peggy Jackson (Sandia Park, NM) Secondary Classroom Teacher Representative; Kim O’Neil (Liverpool, NY), Elementary Classroom Teacher Representative; Marian Mathison Desrosiers (West Barnstable, MA), K-12 Classroom Teacher-at-large Representative.

Founded in 1921, the National Council for the Social Studies has approximately 18,000 members that include K-16 classroom teachers, curriculum supervisors and specialists, curriculum writers and designers, and teacher educators, and serves as an umbrella organization for teachers of civics, history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology and law-related education. Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. The theme for this year’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado, November 12-14, 2010 is “Vistas, Visions & Voices.” For more information visit: http://www.socialstudies.org/conference

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A photograph of Blanchette is available at http://www.socialstudies.org/media_photos

For more information contact:
Ana Post
301.588.1800, Ext. 114
apost@ncss.org

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Moore Begins Vice President Term at NCSS

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Silver Spring, Md. – September 2, 2010 – John Moore, an associate professor of middle level and secondary social studies education at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky., is the new Vice President of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the nation’s largest professional organization for social studies educators. He began his one-year term July 1, 2010. He is in line to become NCSS President in 2012-13.

Moore is committed to assisting NCSS in continuing its implementation of professional growth opportunities, and strongly believes that as social studies educators, it is our responsibility to remain abreast of innovative ways to prepare students for civic competence, and that “in spite of the economic difficulties that have confronted our school systems, institutions, and our professional organization, it is imperative that we continue to advocate the ideals and purposes of social studies education,… and continue our efforts of engagement in effective social studies teaching and learning in a way that will argue against the perceived insignificance of the social studies curriculum to the general public.”

A veteran social studies educator with 29 years of experience, Moore has served as a faculty member for the last 19 years and has taught middle level social studies in Lexington, Kentucky and high school social studies in North Dakota. He has also been active at the state level as secretary, vice president, and president of the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies, as well as at the national level as a NCSS House of Delegates Steering Committee member during 2002-2005; member of the NCSS Board of Directors 2006-2009; member of two NCSS Annual Conference Planning Committees; and continues to serve as Chair of the NCSS Task Force for the Recruitment of Underrepresented Groups.

An active social studies professional, Moore has presented for the National Council for the Social Studies, National Middle School Association, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. He has submitted and published social studies education related articles in Kentucky Middle School Journal, The Social Studies, and for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He is a member of the Praxis Test Development Standing Committee: Middle School Social Studies (2009-2011); the PRAXIS National Advisory Committee for Middle Level Social Studies Assessment (2007-present); and an NCATE reviewer for Social Studies Teacher Education (2005-present).

Moore received his B.A. in History and Government from Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, Ky.), an M.A. in Secondary Education and an Ed.D in Curriculum, Instruction & Administration from University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.).

Other NCSS officers beginning their one-year term as of July 1, 2010, are Steven Goldberg (Hasting-on-Hudson, NY), President, and Sue Blanchette (Dallas, TX), President-Elect. In addition, four newly elected NCSS board members began their three-year terms on July 1: Melissa Collum (Clemson, SC), At-Large Representative; Peggy Jackson (Sandia Park, NM) Secondary Classroom Teacher Representative; Kim O’Neil (Liverpool, NY), Elementary Classroom Teacher Representative; Marian Mathison Desrosiers (West Barnstable, MA), K-12 Classroom Teacher-at-large Representative.

Founded in 1921, the National Council for the Social Studies has approximately 18,000 members that include K-16 classroom teachers, curriculum supervisors and specialists, curriculum writers and designers, and teacher educators, and serves as an umbrella organization for teachers of civics, history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology and law-related education. Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. The theme for this year’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado, November 12-14, 2010 is “Vistas, Visions & Voices.” For more information visit: http://www.socialstudies.org/conference

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A photograph of Moore is available at http://www.socialstudies.org/media_photos

For more information contact:
Ana Post
301.588.1800, Ext. 114
apost@ncss.org

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Principles for Learning

Principles for Learning is a joint statement developed by National Council for the Social Studies in cooperation with six other organizations representing 250,000 content-area teachers, administrators, educational technology specialists and other educators. We will use these principles as the foundation of advocacy on behalf of practices and policies that ensure the best education for all learners.

Consensus Recommendations for a Well-Rounded Education

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On July 29 at a policy briefing on Capitol Hill, National Council for the Social Studies joined ASCD and other education organizations in presenting "Consensus Recommendations for a Well-Rounded Education." The recommendations are a response to the continuing prioritization of reading and math over other subjects in the No Child Left Behind Act and in the Obama administration’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) blueprint and FY11 budget request.

The Administration's Blueprint for reauthorization of ESEA places civics, economics, geography, history, music, arts, foreign languages in to a funding bucket called "Well-Rounded Education." The idea is to have a bucket of funding for which all these subjects would be competing. Our position, with ASCD, Civic Mission of Schools, American Historical Association, National Coalition for History, and an impressive list of others, is that each discipline area requires its own dedicated funding, within which there will be competitive grants. We agreed, as a group of thoughtful educators, that all of the disciplines mentioned in the Blueprint, and adding Physical Education, are essential preparing the Whole Child for College, Career, and Citizenship. We do not agree to a scenario whereby disciplines are elbowing each other out of the way for funding.

smarrow.gifConsensus Recommendations and List of Signatories

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Maryland Social Studies Task Force Report

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The Maryland Social Studies Task Force has released a report on social studies education in Maryland. Acknowledging the challenges faced by social studies over the past decade, including the unintended marginalization of social studies disciplines caused by NCLB, the social studies task force made nine recommendations in its report that are "intended to reverse social studies’ decline." Key recommendations include establishing standards governing instructional time; administering a statewide social studies assessment in elementary and middle school; increasing social studies course requirements for prospective teachers; and launching a campaign to gain public support for more and better social studies instruction.

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John Moore Elected NCSS Vice President

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John_Moore.jpgJohn Moore, Associate Professor in the School of Teacher Education at Western Kentucky University has been elected vice president of National Council for the Social Studies. Dr. Moore will begin his term July 1, 2010 and is in line to serve as president of NCSS in 2012.

Dr. Moore has served on the faculty of Western Kentucky University for the past 19 years, and has previously taught middle level social studies in Lexington, Kentucky and high school social studies in North Dakota. He has served as a member of the NCSS board of directors and in the leadership of the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies as secretary, vice president and president. Dr. Moore has most recently been chair of the NCSS Task Force for the Recruitment of Underrepresented Groups.

Dr. Moore believes that it is important that social studies educators have professional growth opportunities and that NCSS continue to argue for the significance of social studies in the curriculum. "As social studies educators, it is our responsibility to remain abreast of innovative ways to prepare students for civic competence. In spite of the economic difficulties that have confronted our school systems, institutions, and our professional organization, it is imperative that we continue to advocate the ideals and purposes of social studies education."

Other Results

NCSS membership also elected four candidates to three-year terms on the NCSS Board of Directors: Kim O'Neil, Liverpool Elementary School, Liverpool, NY; Peggy Jackson, Moriarity High School, Moriarity, NM ; Melissa Collum, Clemson University, Clemson, SC; and Marian Desrosiers, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI.

Frederick Isele, Western Illinois University, Moline, IL was elected to the board of the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education.

Amendments Approved

NCSS members approved two amendments to the NCSS Constitution. The first amendment removed the requirement that elections be administered by mail ballot. This will allow NCSS to explore conducting future elections via Internet. The second amendment changed the procedure for filling vacancies that occur in the offices of vice president, president-elect, or president. Under the new procedure, an interim officer will nominated by the NCSS Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors to fill the remainder of the officer's term.

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Constitution Day

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"The Constitution is the most important document in our nation's history. It continues to guide and protect each of us in our daily lives more than 200 years after it was drafted. When you freely express or publish your opinions, when you write to your elected officials, when you worship at the church of your choice or when you exercise your right to bear arms, you can do so because of the protections afforded by the Constitution and our founding fathers. As a teacher and lifelong student of government, I believe it is vital for all American students to understand and appreciate the meaning of the Constitution as the foundation for our nation and our government."

A special message to social studies teachers from U.S. Rep. Harry E. Mitchell
Congressional District 5, Arizona
Former Government Teacher, Tempe High School

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