Journal of Educational Controversy


Sunday, December 18, 2011

What our Schools Ignore Teaching at our Peril

“Only 2% of high school seniors in 2010 could answer a simple question about the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.” This statistic comes from the National Assessment of Educational Progress—commonly called “The Nation’s Report Card." Why are state educational standards ignoring the teaching of the Civil Rights Movement and its history? The report, conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the publisher of Teaching Tolerance, examines the educational standards of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and finds that most states get a failing grade. Their announcement to the report reveals that “sixteen states do not require any instruction whatsoever about the movement. In another 19, coverage is minimal. In almost all states, there is tremendous room for improvement.” One wonders about other crucial areas that might be ignored like U.S. labor history, world religions, and other crucial subjects. What ideological forces shape what we learn and what we remain ignorant of? One of our reasons for publishing our upcoming issue of the journal on The Education and Schools our Children Deserve was to explore these deeper questions. We hope to open up a conversation that looks at education as the formation of a human life in all its dimensions and what that education requires.

Readers can read the SPLC 108 page report, Teaching the Movement: The State of Civil Rights Education in the United States 2011, here.

See where your state stands.