Friday, July 19, 2024

Connecticut is the First State to Require High Schools to Provide Black & Latino Studies

In the beginning of fall 2022, Connecticut will require high schools to provide African American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino studies. This will make Connecticut the first state in the US to do this.

Governor Ned Lamont announced this on Wednesday after signing the new law. The law requires all high schools to include an elective course which provides students with a better understanding of the African American, Black, Latino, and Puerto Rican contributions to the U.S. history, art, economy, and culture. Although, high schools are required to offer the course, the students are not required to take it, it is their choice to do so.

This new change comes as schools across the country are paying more attention to diversifying k-12 curriculums and as communities have started to assess what is taught in schools and what is excluded. The education commissioner of Connecticut, Miguel Cardona, praised the new law, stating that 27% of all students in that state identify as Latinos or Hispanics, and 13% of all students identify as Black or African American, thus, this new law will bring representation to all those students.

Cardona further stated, “This curriculum acknowledges that by connecting the story of people of color in the U.S. to the larger story of American history. The fact is that more inclusive, culturally relevant content in classrooms leads to greater student engagement and better outcomes for all”. There is also another proposed bill in Connecticut which will require the teaching Native American history in schools, but that bill has not yet been passed.