The following is an open letter to Hawaii’s Board of Education, which will be voting on a proposal to cut one of the four required Social Studies credits for Hawaii’s high school students.
Dear Hawaii Board of Education (BOE) members,
Social Studies is important. The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has recognized, and should continue to recognize, the need for informed young people who can contribute to and compete in a global society.
The four years of Social Studies coursework currently required for graduation are necessary to fulfill the mission and vision of the DOE and BOE and to develop critical thinkers and thoughtful citizens. The fourth year of Social Studies electives classes currently required for graduation is necessary to provide Hawaii’s students with a rigorous curriculum and produce responsible, knowledgeable, career, and college ready graduates.
It is our position that the reasons put forth for reducing the required social studies credits from four to three have no merit.
First, reducing the number of social studies credits from four to three will result in a less rigorous program of study.
Second, if the number of required social studies credits is reduced from four to three, Hawaii’s high school graduates will be less prepared for college and careers.
Third, the current graduation requirements, which require six elective credits, provide more than enough flexibility and opportunity for students to pursue their career interests in high school.
Finally, reducing the number of required social studies credits from four to three will reduce, rather than increase the number of courses students have to choose from, and severely limit the ability of students to take the social studies electives.
Please consider these arguments and vote to maintain the current graduation requirements for social studies.
Supporter of Strong Social Studies Education in Hawaii