When most people think of Civil Rights the only people that come to mind are Rosa Parks , Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King. Could this be because our school systems are “dumbing down” our education? Don’t African Americans have the right to be taught our history?TheÂ Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and discrimination, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.They recently did a study calledÂ Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education 2011,Â which examined state standards and curriculum requirements related to the study of the modern civil rights movement for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The study gave grades to each state based on how well the schools academic standards address the civil rights movement. 35 states received an F because their standards required little or no mention of the movement.
8 of the remaining 12 states earning A, B, Â or C grades were Southern states where major protests, boycotts or violence have taken place. Alabama, Florida and New York were the only states given an A. Those states require detailed teaching about all Civil Rights events.
The study also found that when states teach the civil rights movement, they tend to perform well on teaching leaders and events. They are Â less likely to include the obstacles that civil rights activists faced, like racism and white resistance, or to mention more than civil rights related-holidays to students before they reach high school.
Teaching ToleranceÂ is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nationâ€™s children. It produces and distributes tools at no cost to teachers, includingÂ Teaching ToleranceÂ magazine, online curricula and professional development resources, and multimedia teaching kits that introduce students to various civil rights issues.
Do you feel you learned anything about Civil Rights in school? Do you think that schools further from the south teach the movement less? Give Â us your feedback and tell us what state your from.