Rochesterian urges involvement in curriculum planning

by Natalie Sluzar

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The New York State Board of Regents proposed plan for academic excellence includes a revised social studies curriculum, including grades 7-12, that will affect all high school students in New York State. Christine Hoshowsky of Rochester, N.Y., is a member of the board of directors of the New York State Social Studies Supervisory Association (NYSSSA), chair of the Committee on Legislation for NYSSSA and member of the Curriculum Committee for the New York State Counsel of Social Studies.

In a recent interview, Ms. Hoshowsky stated that although the kindergarten through grade 6 programs are already in place, the grades 7-12 curriculum is still being written.

There is still time for interested groups to express their concerns for the direction the New York State Social Studies curriculum should take.

Presently, Ms. Hosbowsky said, the emphasis of the 9th and 10th grades is on topical global studies, covering Latin America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, East Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe. The approach in each area is to stress econological systems, human needs, cultural interactions and global systems.

However, Ms. Hoshowsky stated, there is an increasing concern within the committee charged with writing the scope and sequence for the new curriculum to include, if not emphasize, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in its 10th grade curriculum. Ms. Hoshowsky said: "The committee intentionally sought to raise Eastern Europe from obscurity by increasing its emphasis in the new curriculum."

Because the curriculum is not yet written, competing interest groups have been impressing upon the members of the State Education Department that there is a need to include studies on Latin America, Canada, Mexico and the Middle East.

Ms. Hoshowsky said that thus far few East European groups have expressed their preference for the curriculum, partly because they are not aware of the curriculum revision process or that they can have a voice" in that process.

The process leading to the development of the proposal has been an "open one," according to Ms. Hoshowsky. "The commissioner of education, members of the Board of Regents and the chief of the Bureau of Social Studies have solicited imput from teachers, school administrators, school board members, parents, community groups, professional organizations and interested individuals," she said. State Education officials have listened and seriously considered and acted upon a number of ideas presented by outside interested groups and individuals.

For a copy of the proposed Scope and Sequence of the New Social Studies Curriculum and the Regents Action Plan write to: Commissioner Gordon Ambach, New York State Education Department, Albany, N.Y. 12234.

Interested individuals and organizations should write directly to the Board of Regents members at the address given above to express their concerns regarding the curriculum changes. The members are Mary Alice Kendall, Willard Genrich, J. Edward Meyer, Kenneth B. Clark, Emlyn Griffith, Jorge Batista, Laura Chodos, Martin Barell, Louise Mateoni, R. Carlos Carballada, Floyd Linton, Mimi Lieber, Shirley Brown and Robert Best.

It is advisable that each member of the Board of Regents be contacted regarding placing strong emphasis on East European captive nations and the ethnic diversity of the Soviet Union, stressing Soviet imperialism and violations of human rights, said Ms. Hoshowsky.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 30, 1984, No. 53, Vol. LII

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