The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Wade Fraze
Guest columnist 

Opinion: Social studies standards under fire from PED


Last updated 6/5/2021 at 3:29pm

New Mexico’s Public Education Department is striving to change the required standards for social studies. The last time our social studies standards were revised was in the 1990s.

Before the 1990s revision, the average student was pretty much aware of at least our basic history and where we came from as a nation. Most students had an appreciation of our freedoms, the people in our past who help give us these freedoms and the process of addressing where we weren’t living up to the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In general, we were proud and thankful to live in America, all the while knowing that we weren’t perfect.

I have been a history teacher in the public schools for 28 years. In that time I have seen less and less actual history and more and more politically correct propaganda in public education. This is why we now have millions of students who have no idea about our history and think America is an evil racist country.

This is why you see statues of Abraham Lincoln torn down or defaced in the name of “racism” simply because he was a white man. These youth have no idea who Lincoln was or that he freed the slaves and put us on the path for equal rights. Americans of note have their faults greatly magnified and their accomplishments stricken from the record (revisionist history).

Now it feels like the PED wants to put what has been happening since the ‘90s into warp speed. If successful, then everything I have mentioned will get worse. It will be unashamedly indoctrinating our children with WOKE propaganda that we hear of in California and New York. These toxic ideas will be taught to nearly every child in every classroom in New Mexico, as most teachers willingly or under duress will teach directly what the standards say … truthful or not, accurate or not, slanted or not. Whatever the PED has in the standards will be regurgitated to our children.

Some of the key words and ideas being presented and discussed in the proposed standards are: “class conflict,” “social justice,” “Eurocentric power and oppression,” “LGBTQ addressed instruction,” ”gender variances” etc. These would begin in some form or another in kindergarten. No actual history would be covered until fifth grade and then only minimally. Even in high school when history is more focused there is only so much class time. The more we teach the ideas mentioned above the less time we have to teach about actual facts, major historical figures, major historical events, history in context, etc.

Several of these subjects are for parents to address with their children … not the public school!

The PED stated it wants us to do “What’s right for students of New Mexico.” My question is this: Right in whose eyes? The parents or the PED?

Please contact the PED, your legislators etc. if you are concerned about this agenda.

Wade Fraze teaches in Portales Municipal Schools. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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