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Sixth grade curriculum review in West Bend School District

February 25, 2021 – West Bend, WI – There are two days left to review the proposed curriculum for 6th graders in the West Bend School District.
The books will be available for review this week through Friday, February 26 at noon.
The proposed curriculum is published by National Geographic. There are 12 books in the series including, (listed in alphabetical order):

 

“Climate Change”; “Energy Resources”; “Food Supply”; “Globalism”; “Habitat Preservation”; “Health”; “Human Rights”; “Migration”; “Pollution”; “Population Growth”; “Standard of Living”; and “Water Resources.”

UPDATE: Some good news for the community as Superintendent Jen Wimmer said she will work to have the books available for review at the West Bend Public Library.
A response to the suggestion was also acknowledged by School Board President Chris Zwygart.  His full email is below.
Chris Zwygart email, curriculum
Click HERE to review what is presented in a brief format on the social studies segment from National Geographic.
The district sent a note to parents making them aware of the morning review times for the curriculum.
“A team was formed in the 2020-2021 school year for the purpose of selecting a new resource for the 6th grade social studies course. This team reviewed several resources and selected the strongest resources that best fit the instructional needs of the course. Publishers came in and gave presentations to the team. After careful consideration of each of the resources, a recommendation has been made. This resource will be presented for Silverbrook parent feedback at the times and locations listed below. You are able to review the resource and give your feedback on the potential new instructional resource for 6th grade social studies.
February 22, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
February 23, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
February 24, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
February 25, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
February 26, 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
These resources will be available for review at the times above at the Education Service Center (district office) which is located at 735 South Main Street, West Bend, WI 53095. Those interested can enter the building at this time and they will be directed to a room where the resources can be accessed and reviewed. Any questions or requests for accommodations can be directed to Kevin Hyde at 262-335-1472 or [email protected]
Laura Jackson said 10 people from the district came in last week and paged through student books and teacher’s guides.
Questions and comments from parents are bullet pointed below:
– Citations – there was no detail on where the information was sourced. Who made statements found in the book; where was the information acquired. Statements were made as ‘fact’ but no citation.
– Balance – One side to stories; no balance. Health book comments about medical procedures, everything positive, no mention of risks. Discussion of China in book about Globalism but no mention of communism. 
Colorful catchy stories.  Like a magazine.
– General terms. “According to most scientists…” or “Some scientists believe…” or “Scientists recommend…”  Who are the scientists being quoted?  Are these facts or opinions?
Each segment in each book wrapped up with a “What can I do?” activity for students. Suggestions included: “Put on a play, have a cultural fair, plant a tree, learn about recycling and become an activist.”
Trend in each book presented statements that children should be fearful. “There is not enough food for everyone,” Global population is a “crisis,” hard data was nowhere to be found with lots of speculation.
Zwygart and board member Kurt Rebholz are running for reelection in April 2021. Both will be voting on the curriculum along with the rest of the board.
Five messages have been left with Rebholz since Sunday, Feb. 21 and an email and as of publication of this article we were still awaiting a call back.
This is a working story and more details will be posted when information becomes available.

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