Plans to alter history lessons spark outrage in N.C.

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North Carolina's education officials have confronted a firestorm of criticism about a proposal to teach only post-Reconstruction American history in high school, leaving lessons on the Founding Fathers and the Civil War to fifth- and seventh-grade classes....

...[S]tate educators say the proposed change in curriculum standards addresses a need to teach U.S. history after 1877 more in-depth, and is not an attempt to thwart learning about the Constitution or the Emancipation Proclamation.

"There would be a deeper study of those major events," said Rebecca Garland, chief academic officer for the state Department of Public Instruction. "It was not to leave history out, but to put it in smaller time chunks to make it more manageable."...

Department spokeswoman Linda Fuller said that an idea that would maintain the entire U.S. history curriculum but split it into two courses - supported by many educators and members of the public - will be considered in revisions of the curriculum. That also would alleviate concerns about some students who move into the state missing out on learning American history in lower grades.

The comment period on the first draft has been extended to March 2, she said, and the input will be taken into account in additional drafts. A proposal is expected to be presented to the state school board by the fall, with the final version implemented in 2013.

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