For the past several months, House Education Committee Chairman Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Miller (D-CA) have been meeting to try to develop a bipartisan ESEA reauthorization bill. Throughout this process, NCSS Executive Director Susan Griffin, Policy Advisor Catriona Macdonald, and members of Minnesota Council have been reaching out to Chairman Kline’s staff asking for a higher profile and more resources for the social studies. We understand that bipartisan negotiations have broken down, and Chairman Kline is proceeding to develop a Republican bill that may be made public as early as the week of January 16th. We expect the Chairman's bill to be consistent with his philosophy of directing resources to school districts and letting them wide latitude to spend it as they see best.
As the Chairman is putting his finishing touches on the bill, we need members of the Committee to weigh in with the Chairman, asking that he provide a more prominent place in the curriculum, and greater resources, for the teaching of the Social Studies.
If your US Representative is listed below as a member of the House Education Committee, we need you to give that office a call as soon as possible, before Thursday January 27th.
Ask to speak to the member’s Staff working on the Education and the Workforce Committee. Using the talking points in the attached document, ask them to support a broader curriculum that includes the content and analytical skills students learn through Social Studies. The "talking points" (NCSS Member Talking Points.doc)
are to help you in a more prolonged discussion if you are actually able to talk to someone on the phone, or if you decide to write a letter to the Representative. If you have to leave a voice mail message and could not talk to the staffer, you should use the "message” text below.
The phone number of each Representative in the House Education and Workforce Committee is listed in the second document attached to this e-mail. If for some reason you cannot reach the Representative with the number listed, call the House switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Representative's office. If you know the name of the staffer who works on education policy, you can send an email or call and ask to leave a message for that person. If you don't know the staffer's name, phone the office and ask for the person who handles the ESEA reauthorization.
Thank you for taking the time today to talk with me about education in the Social Studies. I am (a teacher, school administrator, etc) from (fill in location in state). My name is _____ and I am calling from (place name in state). I am calling representing the National Council for the Social Studies and am phoning to urge Representative _______________to support the teaching of the Social Studies in the ESEA reauthorization. Through the Social Studies, students learn the skills needed to succeed in college, in a career, and to contribute to our participatory democracy.
As the Chairman completes his bill and the committee moves towards markup, I hope Representative __________________ (fill in name of office you are calling) will urge Chairman Kline to support the teaching of Social Studies, by including the necessary resources and emphasis to support innovative, creative teaching, curriculum, and professional development in the Social Studies.