The Maryland State Department of Education has just released survey data required by Md. EDUCATION Code Ann. § 7-203 (2012). This data revealed that among the 3,200 elementary school teacher respondents, over 50 percent teach social studies less than three hours per week. Additionally, 41.9 percent of secondary school social studies teachers reported that appropriate professional development was not available to them, while it was reported by state supervisors that one-third of high school social studies courses are taught by teachers who are teaching a majority of classes out of their area of certification. These results would likely have been even more alarming had MSDE also asked district supervisor for the total number of social studies sections being taught by teachers not certified in social studies.
The survey results clearly demonstrate that the alarming condition of social studies in Maryland has not substantially improved since the release of the Social Studies Task Force Report, April 2010. Those who care about Maryland students receiving a healthy social studies education are encouraged to contact State Superintendent Lillian Lowery, members of the State Board of Education, and elected representatives with the clear message that we need to do more to improve the condition of social studies in Maryland.
View all survey results at: http://marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/instruction/.
The resulting statute, Md. EDUCATION Code Ann. § 7-203 (2012) requires the Maryland State Department of Education to survey a representative sample of public schools and teachers annually to measure, in an effort to evaluate, the status and well-being of science and social studies throughout the state.