Schools Change Curriculum to Be More Inclusive

By Brisa Miranda Ramirez

When a student walks into their history class, they expect to learn about historical events. What some people don’t know is that textbooks have been slow to incorporate black humanity in their slavery narratives. They still have a long journey to go.

On a survey taken by The Southern Poverty Law Center, they surveyed high school seniors from the U.S. on how schools teach slavery. In the survey, they found that the students have difficulty with the basic questions about the American enslavement of Africans. Some of the questions being: “Why did slavery exist in the colonies that became the United States?”, “Who were “The abolitionists”?”, and “How was slavery abolished in the US?” Most textbooks failed to understandably cover enslaved people and slavery. They have also found out that teachers who are serious about teaching slavery have struggled to provide deep coverage of the subject in their classroom. 

 

Students are campaigning for additional ethnic studies programs and curriculums that highlight belittled groups. Some high school students would agree that books such as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, which are often written by a white author, do not portray Black characters with thoughtfulness. Speaking about the Latino, Black, or Asian community from a removed point of view, and reading it from a white author isn’t sufficient. Other voices must be heard and included.

Major curriculum change is extremely difficult. Young activists desire small changes while looking forward to a larger overtake. States are largely responsible for arranging certain educational goals and curriculums for subjects such as Math, English, and American History since the US doesn’t have a national educational system. To make this possible, most states have adopted the Common Core standards. The standards were crafted by national nonprofit groups to take the appropriate measures for the students’ academic performance. The issue is that Common Core seems to rely more on the classic, years worth works published by white authors, to educate and evaluate students in primary schools and secondary schools according to corestandards.org.

Regardless of what academic officials have given their word to do, many students say that they’re making sure that they achieve their goals by circulating petitions and staying in contact with educators. A lot of people say and think that the youth don’t have the authority or power to do anything, but these students are the next generation; we have the power and technology to change the future.

So many different campaigns and petitions get started by young people trying to find a way to change the high school curriculum. Students should help out by attending to school board meetings and signing/circulating petitions: http://chng.it/ctKHrrnKnd

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