While I was at dinner at the NCGE conference in Portland in August, Jeff Moniz, one of the participants at the table made a general inquiry, asking if anyone knew how to get in touch with the president of NCSS, as he needed help. I leaned forward and said, "You've got her. How can I help?" Once he got over his surprise he explained that the Hawai'i Department of Education was recommending that the state reduce its high school graduation requirements in social studies. He and other educators in Hawai'i had formed a group called Preserve Our Social Studies Education (POSSE) which was dedicated to preventing this recommendation from passing the State Board of Education. Although we had only a few days to act, NCSS was able to draft a letter to the Hawai'i Board of Education condemning this action. Combined with the overwhelming support from social studies educators and others, the board delayed action on the recommendation.
Today I received a jubilant email from Jeff, saying that the Hawaii Department of Education was dropping its recommendation and that Hawaii would reinstate the four credit social studies requirement for high school graduation. He offered his thanks to NCSS
"Thank you for your advocacy, advice, and influence. Your influence, from a national level, played a key role in the process of keeping the pressure on our Board of Education. Thank you for your involvement. Mahalo for helping us in Hawai‘i fight to maintain our commitment to social studies."
NCSS thanks Jeff and his POSSE for fighting the good fight. This one goes in the win column!