Friday, July 29, 2016

California’s new public school history curriculum reflects state’s diversity | The Sacramento Bee

California’s new public school history curriculum reflects state’s diversity | The Sacramento Bee:

California’s new public school history curriculum reflects state’s diversity

Dolores Huerta, vice president of the National Farm Workers Association, and Cesar Chavez, the association’s general director, are seen in November 1965.
Dolores Huerta, vice president of the National Farm Workers Association, and Cesar Chavez, the association’s general director, are seen in November 1965. Carl Crawford Sacramento Bee file

After 10 years, thousands of public comments and contentious debates, the California Department of Education has rewritten the history curriculum for California’s more than 6.2 million public school students.
The new History-Social Science Framework for grades K-12 was adopted by the state school board on July 14. It reflects the struggles and progress of LGBT Americans in the United States and California. It also contains more detail on Latino history, along with the role Filipinos played in both World War II and the United Farm Workers movement.
It includes sections on the impact of the missions on California Indians and the challenges faced by Chinese and Japanese immigrants, including the Asian Exclusion Act of 1882 and the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II.
California’s Hmong history isn’t included, but books by Hmong authors are recommended. The story of Americans with disabilities is also addressed. There’s a much deeper discussion of African American history, relying on slave narratives and firsthand accounts of rebellions and nonviolent protests during the Civil Rights movement.
Nearly every major ethnic group in California has been given a voice in the 900-page rewrite, which is expected to show up in textbooks by 2018.
“We want students to understand that California and this country developed in part because of people like them,” said Tom Adams, deputy superintendent for instruction and learning in the California Department of Education. “At the same time, it’s never been a smooth story of progress. It’s one in which people have had to struggle for equality.”
Once the new standards make their way into textbooks, their impact could be felt nationwide. California is the largest textbook market in the nation, Adams said.
The new curriculum aims to teach students to think critically about key historical events, said Adams, who has been working on the new framework since 2009, along with retired Berkeley professor Onkar Bindra, a Sacramento Sikh.
“We’re not going to tell them how to think on each issue,” Adams said. “Along with beingCalifornia’s new public school history curriculum reflects state’s diversity | The Sacramento Bee:

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