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Missing Links In Textbook History: Opposition To War

The inescapable fact is that war has dominated much of U.S. history. According to Freakonometrics–statistician Arthur Charpentier, the United States has been at war 93% of the years since 1776. Nevertheless, as I have noted elsewhere, most of those wars are ignored by both textbooks and media. Informed by experience as a teacher, I’m convinced that students need to study at least the most significant American wars. They need to study why and how those wars were fought, the debates that occurred at the time and why some supported war while others opposed it. Unfortunately, when a war is included in history textbooks or discussed in classes, opposition to that war is generally ignored or misrepresented.

Mandatory Media Literacy Education Could Be Coming To California Schools

California is currently considering two media literacy bills, both of which have sailed through the California State Assembly and are being reviewed by the Senate Education Committee.  The first, Assembly Bill 873, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, requires teaching media literacy in K-12 schools throughout the Golden State. The Second bill, sponsored by Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland), Assembly Bill 787, mandates schools to implement curriculum at every grade level and relies on a more informed and civically engaged society. As part of these efforts, the bill seeks input from teachers, tech experts, and researchers on how to teach media literacy in California schools.

Push For Indigenous Curriculum Makes Gains

For years, many tribes have felt their history has not been given its due by schools in Connecticut, a state that takes its name from an Algonquian word meaning “land on the long tidal river.” Soon, however, schools will be required to teach Native American studies, with an emphasis on local tribes, under a law passed this year at the urging of tribes including the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, best known today for its Foxwoods Resort Casino. "When you’re in Connecticut, to not learn about the Eastern woodland tribes, the tribes that Connecticut was founded on, (that) was the issue that we were pressing,” said Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequots. It has been a long-running goal of many Native people to have more about their history and culture taught in grade schools.

How Parent Organizing Has Shifted Classrooms Toward Racial Justice

Over the past year, much of the nation’s education discussion has been where learning was taking place: on Zoom? In the classroom? Both? While COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequities around access, focus is now being drawn to what students are learning. Debate over curriculum isn’t new, but has been contested in varying degrees for decades. Before the right-wing-stoked controversy over so-called “Critical Race Theory” there was anger over Common Core standards, and before that No Child Left Behind. What is new is the incredible strides parent and community organizing has made in shifting the curriculum of the nation’s largest school district. Founded in 2006, the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) is a citywide collaborative of community-based organizations organizing the power of parents and community to create a more equitable education system.
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