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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Michigan Updating School Social Studies Standards

Reginald Hardwick

Proposed new standards for teaching history and social studies in Michigan would include references to abortion, climate change, and gay rights. The new standards have been at the center of political battles at the elected state board of education. 

The effort to update the standards stalled last year because of a partisan deadlock on the board of education. Democrats won a majority on the board in statewide elections last November.

The new standards address contentious social issues.

Jim Cameron with the state Department of Education says they would also let teachers to take geography and culture into account in their lessons.

“Teachers are encouraged to use various examples that more closely reflect the students in their classroom.” Cameron said.

The education board will review the new standards at its meeting next month, followed by a public comment period.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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