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President's Message March–April 2017

Peggy S. Jackson

A Future Plan

The focus of our March NCSS Board of Directors meeting was strategic planning, held at Discovery Education’s fantastic state-of-the-art facilities in Silver Spring, Maryland, which they generously allowed NCSS to use free of charge. The meeting reminded me of the reason we were there—to create a better state of the art association of social studies educators.

We focused on two items: approval of NCSS House of Delegates resolutions and strategic planning for our future endeavors. Much of the strategic planning had been done by an ad hoc committee with numerous conference calls and lots of creative thinking. Now, at our face-to-face meeting in Silver Spring, members of the board could examine each part of our vision for the future and discuss it in some depth. Our Executive Committee co-chair, Larry Paska (who is Executive Director of NCSS) led us through a variety of group activities with four to five board members per group to examine our priorities.

The future of social studies education hangs in the balance. While examining Title II of ESSA- Every Student Succeeds Act, we must be concerned about the balance of civics, history, geography, and economics in the “Skinny Budget” (the proposed federal budget) offered by the President in March. What a time to teach students about the U. S. Constitution! Does the system of “checks and balances” still function? Advocating for social studies still reigns as a tenet of our organization, and the need for this continued focus must not be diminished. Every teacher in our nation in every classroom at every grade level can help in the effort. 

Silver Spring adjoins the northern tip of “the diamond shaped boundary” of Washington, D.C. Being close to our nation’s capital always brings to me a sense of purpose and love of country. As I rode through the capital, I considered the other places our leaders and members will be meeting in the near future. The NCSS Annual Conference will be held In San Francisco in 2017, Chicago in 2018, and Austin, Texas in 2019 (co-hosting with the Texas Council for the Social Studies Conference).

Finally, it is my pleasure to announce in this article that the 2023 NCSS Conference will be in Nashville, Tennessee! Traveling to state conferences has been an honor for me. I can almost hear my former colleagues in Knoxville, Tennessee, shouting to the rooftop with this news, “Hooray!”

-- Peggy S. Jackson, NCSS President