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Two Independent Panels To Review Controversial U.S., World History Standards

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Two independent panels will review the national standards for U.S. and world history that were released last fall to a torrent of criticism.

In a report to be released in October, the groups will recommend ways in which the voluntary content standards can be revised. The National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California at Los Angeles developed the standards.

"This is not going to be a panel that edits," said Christopher T. Cross, the president of the Council for Basic Education, which assembled the panels and is overseeing the project.

The committees are "not going to go through the documents and say, 'Strike line seven,'" Mr. Cross said.

Rather, the panels will evaluate the standards for scholarly merit, balance, and feasibility for practitioners.

The council, a Washington-based group that promotes education reform, has received funding for the standards-review project from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

The funding includes money for the history center to incorporate the recommendations of the panels, if it chooses to do so.

Now financially strapped, the history center received more than $2 million in federal funding to produce the two controversial standards documents. The center also produced a third set of standards, for K-4 students. (See Education Week, 11/2/94 and related story .)

Gary B. Nash, a director of the national history standards, had called for independent scholars to evaluate the documents in the wake of complaints about them.

Critics had charged, among other things, that the standards overemphasized multiculturalism and portrayed the United States and the West as repressive.

The majority of the panelists are historians, although each group includes two teachers and one public member. (See related story .)

(See Education looked for respected educators whose expertise reflects the broad field of history and who had not been directly involved in drafting the standards. More than 1,000 people, representing more than 30 major organizations, participated in the process.

--Karen Diegmueller

Members of Review Panels

The Council for Basic Education has named the following two panels to review the proposed national standards in history:

World History

Steven Muller, (Chairman), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Hilary Ainger, U.N. International School, New York City

Robert Bain, social-studies teacher, Beachwood High School,Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Allison Blakely, Howard University, Washington

A. Lee Blitch, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, Dallas

Philip D. Curtin, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Prasenjit Duara, University of Chicago

Michael F. Jimenez, University of Pittsburgh

Ramsay MacMullen, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Marjorie Malley, Rogers State College, Bartlesville, Okla.

Joan Wallach Scott, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.

John Obert Voll, University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.

U.S. History

Albert H. Quie, (Chairman), former Governor of Minnesota,Minnetonka

Cary Carson, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Va.

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

David A. Hollinger, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

Jeanette R. LaFors, social-studies teacher, Carlmont High School,Belmont, Calif.

Diane Ravitch, New York University, New York City

Rex M. Shepard, National Council for the Social Studies, Catonsville, Md.

Stephan Thernstrom, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Reed Ueda, Tufts University, Boston

Maris A. Vinovskis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

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