Education More News |

Georgia teachers have flexibility on delving into 9/11 attacks

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 7:29 PM
Last updated 9:13 PM
  • Follow Education

Twelve years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, students too young to remember the events of that day are required to learn about them in their history books.

High school U.S. History covers European colonization through the 21st century. The course’s final requirement under the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards is for students to understand changes in national politics since 1968, which involves analyzing “the response of President George W. Bush to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the United States, the war against terrorism, and the subsequent American interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Rose Carraway, the Columbia County School System director of student learning for high schools, said teachers in Georgia must follow the curriculum standards, but have flexibility in how they teach the content.

Some educators teach U.S. History chronologically and will not delve into 9/11 attacks until the end of the school year when they reach current events. Others may use the anniversary as a lesson and explore repercussions of the attacks that day.

“In September I’m covering the American Revolution, and I’ve got to stay on pace to fit in all that we are required to,” said Academy of Richmond County history teacher Will Christman. “If I mention Sept. 11 (the day of), it is just acknowledging the anniversary of the attacks.”

The history portion of the End of Course Tests, which count for 20 percent of a student’s final grade and help measure a school’s progress, does not include content past 1970, so Christman said academic demands push teachers to stay on the curriculum track.

“It’s so hard to even get that far,” he said. “I say if we kill Lincoln by Christmas we’re on the right track.”

At Grovetown High School, U.S. history teacher Tracy Roden said her entire department will take 15 minutes to work on 9/11 related activities on Wednesday.

With fewer students being old enough to remember the events, Roden said she tries to get them to grasp the severity of the attack.

“I used to ask the kids ‘Where were you when?’ but the kids now were like 3, so I tell them where I was to get their attention because I was flying that day,” Roden said. “Then I show them a clip of the actual event that happened at the Pentagon and the historical footage. Then we talk about the effects of it. I try to get them to realize they’re still feeling the effects of it.”

David Bradberry, a history teacher at Westside High School, said he will briefly acknowledge the 9/11 anniversary Wednesday but will not divert far from his curriculum plan.

The history standard that focuses on changes in politics since 1968 also requires content about the Carter administration’s efforts in the Middle East and his response to the 1979 Iranian Revolution – so to save time, Bradberry often mixes the 9/11 and terrorism discussion in with that.

“By April you’re scrambling to finish the curriculum and review for EOCT ... so we’re bound to stay on track,” he said.

With students getting older every year, Bradberry can no longer ask his students to complete a “where were you when” essay on the 9/11 attacks.

By now, that exercise is included in the “find someone who was there when,” which is also used for memories of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier and the launch of Sputnik.


SSUSH25 The student will describe changes in national politics since 1968.

a. Describe President Richard M. Nixon’s opening of China, his resignation due to the Watergate scandal, changing attitudes toward government, and the Presidency of Gerald Ford.

b. Explain the impact of Supreme Court decisions on ideas about civil liberties and civil rights; include such decisions as Roe v. Wade (1973) and the Bakke decision on affirmative action.

c. Explain the Carter administration’s efforts in the Middle East; include the Camp David Accords, his response to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and the Iranian hostage crisis.

d. Describe domestic and international events of Ronald Reagan’s presidency; include Reaganomics, the Iran-contra scandal, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

e. Explain the relationship between Congress and President Bill Clinton; include the North American Free Trade Agreement and his impeachment and acquittal.

f. Analyze the 2000 presidential election and its outcome, emphasizing the role of the electoral college.

g. Analyze the response of President George W. Bush to the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States, the war against terrorism, and the subsequent American interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Little Lamb
Little Lamb 09/10/13 - 09:40 pm
Forbidden Word

From the story:

High school U.S. History . . . course’s final requirement under the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards is for students to understand changes in national politics since 1968, which involves analyzing “the response of President George W. Bush to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the United States, the war against terrorism, and the subsequent American interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Actually, it is the War Against Islamic Terrorism. But you will never hear the current U.S. president utter those words. Nor any other Democrat. Even most Republicans cower. But, my friends, the War Against Islamic Terrorism goes on in Libya, in Egypt, in Somalia, in Syria, in Yemen, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and more. Covertly, the Islamic terrorists are conducting war against the United States. We are all targets.

Will they teach that in high school U.S. history classes?

KSL 09/11/13 - 04:02 am
Is there a war against

Is there a war against teaching history?

gaflyboy 09/11/13 - 04:04 am
'You will learn what we want you to know'

Can they also discuss the typical democrat Presidents and how they love to decimate the military, then follow that up by making unrealistic demands of the military?

IE: Carter slashed the DoD budget – followed by an embarrassing and devastating failure to rescue the Iran hostages?

Or Obama slashing the DoD budget – followed by constant drone attacks in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere, then attacking Libya and now talks of attacking Syria? Albeit, a very small, tiny attack that will last anywhere from days to a couple of hours … you know, just to send a message.

Common core and centralized government - This is how history is rewritten.

Stunned 2
Stunned 2 09/11/13 - 07:07 am
American students Textbooks -Diversification-Push Islam's Agenda

American students Textbooks - Diversification - Pushing the Islam agenda??? I recently took a local college class that pushed a kinder-gentle view of Islam. When doing research for my project - I found some information that Islamic Middle Easterners are investing in American textbook publishing push the Islamic agenda on American children. In my class, following the curriculum - we watched a film from the perspective of Iraq people and their distaste for America. Only myself & 2 other students in that class stood up for America after watching that film and called the film out as propaganda. The other 2 students were U.S. Military veterans. I didn't have time or means to investigate /verify who invests in all the U.S. textbook companies, but I certainly recognized that the younger students seemed acclimated towards the propaganda. Scary, huh?

WalterBradfordCannon 09/11/13 - 07:12 am
gaflyboy, the US spends more

gaflyboy, the US spends more on defense than the next 11 largest defense spending nations combined, and 10 of them are our clear allies. We run a budget deficit that is too large to justify such expenditures. We should ask ourselves - why do we need to spend so much more on defense than other nations, especially when almost all the most powerful nations on earth are our allies?

Young Fred
Young Fred 09/11/13 - 09:28 am
What’s so laughable, is that

What’s so laughable, is that many believe this is an accurate “picture” of our history. Look at the “a through g” bullet points. Excuse me while I expell the puke that just regurgitated through my digestive system.

Social Studies/History teachers – if you’re not part of the solution, then you ARE part of the problem!

Young Fred
Young Fred 09/11/13 - 09:56 am
How about this for a history

How about this for a history lesson plan.

One of the most free forms of government in the history of man was deemed to be “too free” by some. Rather than debating the merits of their arguments, they chose to kill and maim indiscriminately. We retaliated. Being a free country, we continually debated the merits of our response, some thought we went to far, some thought we didn’t go far enough. Had we lowered ourselves to the gutter level of our antagonist, we would have carpet bombed indiscriminately. We took the “high” road. We broadcasted our intentions and battle plans. We gave our enemies a “blue print” of potential targets. Our enemy, seeing the writing on the wall, saved as-many-as-assets as possible.

And so history repeats itself!

crkgrdn 09/11/13 - 01:14 pm
Ever wonder why education is in such a state?

Teacher preparation programs require far more education courses than content courses (history, economics, math, and so on).
And, the head of Secondary Education is Carraway? One who filled her Spanish language students at Lakeside High School with the liberal spiel regarding the Aztecs.
We have been in trouble in education because of educators.

oldredneckman96 09/11/13 - 02:30 pm

Will these teachers tell their students that Supreme Court decisions such as Roe v. Wade, allowed millions of children to be killed every year? With out a trial? Not given a grave, not even a mass grave? That their parents are possibly paying the tab?

histmom 09/11/13 - 06:26 pm
I am a history teacher

Reading this makes me sad. I am a history teacher, and oh by the way a Democrat. I recounted the story today of where I was on 9/11, the impact it had on me and the impact it had and is still having on our country. We viewed a short power point and talked about other times in American History that were watershed moments, like Pearl Harbor, JFK's assassination and others. I can't speak for other teachers, but I feel I received a very good education in history both in my pursuit of an undergraduate degree and my graduate classes. Where is all the hate coming from? I love this country and yes we as a country have made mistakes along the way. But I still tear up when I think of that week. Never in my life have I mourned so long or felt so vulnerable. The night of 9/11 I cried as I watched God Bless America sung on the steps of the Capitol Building. I stood with my children outside of our house raising candles in a vigil and in remembrance. It saddens me to hear this back and forth in such a disrespectful way on this very solemn day. I will continue to teach my students to love America and yes we do have to teach the performance standards. We did not create them. They came from the Republican led Georgia Department of Education. Bless you all and God Bless America

Young Fred
Young Fred 09/13/13 - 10:48 am
None are as duped, as the

None are as duped, as the dupes who don't realize they've been duped!

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
As son was dying in hot car, man sent teen sex texts
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A Georgia man swapped sexual text messages with a teenage girl while his toddler son sat forgotten and dying in the back seat of the father's sweltering SUV, his young texting ...