March 16, 2009
AUGUSTA – A bill before the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee calls for amending the law governing instruction in schools to require the inclusion of Franco-American history and the study of the influence of French intellectual thought on American history. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brian Bolduc, D-Auburn, says the time has come to incorporate this historically neglected part of Maine’s history into the public schools.
A public hearing was held Monday on Bolduc’s proposal, LD 422, An Act To Include the Study of Franco-American History in the System of Learning Results. Bolduc believes that the state should incorporate Franco-American history into the Maine Learning Results for social studies curriculum in the state’s public schools.
“Currently, the state’s directive to teachers fails to mention anything at all about this rich cultural part of the state’s history,” said Bolduc. “The history of the French in Maine is not separate from the history of Maine. Maine’s history and culture is a part of French North American history.”
The Maine Learning Results was developed in 1997 through an effort by the Legislature, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education to identify the knowledge and skills essential to prepare Maine students for work, higher education and citizenship. The document serves as the focal point for state and local efforts to improve student learning, define professional development needs, update local curriculum and instructional practices and assess student achievement.
Bolduc’s bill is scheduled for a public work session on Thursday at 1 p.m. in room 202 in the capitol’s Cross Building.
Rep. Brian Bolduc, 576-4907
Sean Smith, Legislative Aide, 287-1430
Kyle Leighton, communications director, 287-1433