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Social Studies Standards Spark Controversy, Conversation Over How We Teach Our History


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Everyone likes to believe nice things about themselves. It’s true about individuals and about nations. In school, you probably heard great things about America, and they were true.

But our nation also has some blemishes. We’ve committed some serious sins, and educators have struggled with how to present that side of our story to students. In North Carolina, they’re getting some help from a new set of social studies standards developed by the State Board of Education.

Not everyone is happy about those standards. Some people see them as divisive. But the changes have started a conversation about how our most difficult history is taught, and that conversation continues.


James Ford, at-large member of the North Carolina State Board of Education. He’s the executive director of the Center for Racial Equity in Education and was the 2014-2015 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Olivia Oxendine, member of the North Carolina State Board of Education for the Sandhills region. She is an associate professor in the School of Education at UNC Pembroke.

Brianna Carter, social studies teacher at Olympic High School

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.