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Miller Visits Social Studies Class
Huntingtown, MD - 12/18/2012
By Marty Madden
Plum Point Middle School (PPMS) eighth-graders in Margaret Land’s fourth period social studies class received a quick course in the process of making state laws from a genuine expert. Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. [D-District 27], a voracious reader of history, also provided the students a quick overview of how the Constitution was crafted.
“History is so important because it keeps repeating itself,” said Miller. “If you study history you can what’s going to happen before it happens.”
Miller used a bill passed earlier this year that impacted the teaching of social studies to illustrate how a law is made. The measure that Miller and several other senators sponsored will require high school seniors—starting with the class of 2017—to pass an assessment in government in order to graduate. There had originally been such a stipulation when Maryland adopted the High School Assessments but the Maryland State Department of Education had dropped the test in 2011. The test had been eliminated as a result of a de-emphasis in social studies in the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) bill. The NCLB mandate had provided federal support for reading and math testing.
Miller recalled how social studies teachers, including Land, came to Annapolis to speak in support of the senate bill.
The day’s class lesson was truly one for the student with a desire to learn the basics of government. It was also a class students with a sweet tooth should have enjoyed. Land used cookies and candy to explain the levels of government. Additionally, at the end of the lesson, PPMS staff brought in a birthday cake for Miller, who recently turned 70.
Contact Marty Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org
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