Labor activists throughout the nation have looked with encouragement to Wisconsin after Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law the Labor History in the Schools bill.
Numerous inquires have been made to the Society and others from unionists interested in enacting similar laws in their own states.
The Wisconsin law calls for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to make the teaching of labor history and collective bargaining part of the model standard in the schools.
DPI’s process of adjusting the model academic standards will involve the following:
- Identify and convene key stakeholders
- Determine the content at a standard level that should be incorporated into social studies related to the teaching of labor history and collective bargaining
- Post the information on the DPI web site
- Identify curriculum materials and resources that are available to for teachers to use to more easily implement the standard.
A Curriculum Committee of the WLHS Board has been appointed to assist in the process.
Meanwhile, the passage of the bill got national attention, with the appearance of State AFL-CIO President David Newby on Fox News on Thursday, Dec. 17. It was hardly fair coverage, but in spite of that Newby was able to get the basic word out that the bill will enable a balancing of the scales, since labor has been long neglected in many school teaching curricula.