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African American, Latino Studies Mandated To Graduate

November 1st, 2017 · 23 Comments · Education, News and Events

In city schools about half of the 21,000 students are Latino and 35 percent African American. As a result the Board of Education will require a half-year course in African American Studies, Caribbean/Latin American Studies or Perspective on Race to graduate high school starting with the Class of 2022.

CT Post reporter Linda Conner Lambeck has more:

The new mandate, approved unanimously by the city school board Monday, makes the district one of the few in the country to require the course of study.

Philadelphia public schools have required students to take an African American history course since 2005. In Los Angeles, students are required to take an ethnic studies class.

“It is going to make a great deal of difference to our children and our families,” Sauda Baraka, vice chairman of the school board, said of the local decision. “It will really help us with the learning process. Cultural competency has been shown to change the direction of young people and make them more interested in learning.”

Full story here.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    I spoke with Principal Jay Lipp at Fairchild Wheeler campus last week after the BOE passed the new requirement for 2018 Freshmen graduating in 2022. I had not realized that one year of American History and 1/2 year of Civics are the only current requirements intended to provide youth with an appreciation of how and why many Americans think that our “noble experiment” is different and worth supporting on a world stage. I come away with a better understanding of how my own 16 years + of education left me with a very incomplete knowledge of how slavery, instituted and in place, from the 17th and 18th Centuries American experience, reaches out today through incomplete reconstruction efforts and lack of attention to results. Why do we need disasters or war that bring people together to survive and succeed together to overcome shallow assumptions about supremacy, privilege and advantage? Time will tell.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    It all depends on what books or subject matter. History continues to be well not really written. See what is happening with Puerto Rico’s economic crisis. Barack Obama appointed two (2) Banco Santander former employees (they’re tied to it still) to serve on the Bankrupcy Board. Banco Santander founded in Spain goes back to the mid 1800 and is still in business today. P.R. was one of Spain’s Colony. There is not enough time in school hours and days for student to really learn these types of history. Students must learn that learning is a continuous must do. Let them take books home and hope read it. Put your cell phones away please.

  • Ron Mackey

    What is the true meaning of history? It’s his – story, and those in power write and tell the story of his-story. The history of blacks in America has never been a priority or concern of those who wrote the history of America and those companies who printed the history books.

    White House chief of staff John Kelly gets Civil War history wrong, “I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” well, that’s a bold face lie.

    MERRIAM-WEBSTER
    Definition of history
    plural histories
    1
    :tale, story
    2
    a :a chronological record of significant events (such as those affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes.

  • Maria Pereira

    Sauda has fought for this for ten years. This will be a key part of her legacy from serving on the BBOE.

    Ben’s committee did great work in finally advancing this requurement.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Thank you all who supported this initiative. Special thanks to Sauda,. keep it going Maria

  • Maria Pereira

    I just received a really bad piece of literature from the Republican BOE candidates.

    It states the date of the election as part of a paragraph, it does not state what ROW they are on, and it purposely doesn’t state that all three white, male candidates are Republicans.

    They are clearly targeting ALL voters because everyone in my home is a registered Democrat.

    Studies have repeatedly shown you need three mailings to impact voters in a meaningful way.

  • Tom White

    Show of hands please.
    Who has spent time in Bridgeport public high school classrooms and are familiar with the norms of behavior?
    Who will prepare the syllabus, Ron Mackey?
    Sorry, this is nonsense.

    • Ron Mackey

      Tom White, you are what white privilege is all about, the white way, I mean the right way.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        Mr. White has a point, Ron. I know a few teachers employed in the Bridgeport Public High Schools. None of them assign homework because they know it will not be handed in the next day. The students are indifferent, their parents are apathetic, so why bother? The schools administration practices “social engineering,” meaning they pass students from one grade to the next regardless of the fact most of the students have difficulty solving basic mathmatical problems and read above a third- or fourth-grade level. 

        The teachers are always held to blame, unfairly. If there is no encouragement at home to pursue an education why is it the fault of the teachers? Most of them entered the profession with the brightest of ideals. After a few years they become jaded and cynical, working through ’til it is time to collect pension benefits.

        • Ron Mackey

          Derek, I am unapologetic  black and that’s view that I see things. There are very few white students in the Bridgeport public school system. My concern is about black children getting a good education.

          Derek, you said, “I know a few teachers employed in the Bridgeport Public High Schools. None of them assign homework because they know it will not be handed in the next day. The students are indifferent, their parents are apathetic, so why bother?” I totally reject your statement. If what those teacher told you is true then what are they doing to make change? Those teachers are just getting paid to do nothing. Why not close those classrooms with those students and warehouse them in separate school doing nothing. If the public schools in Bridgeport  are failing students then what choice does a parent have to provide education for their child? Nothing, their choice is to leave their children in public school. 

          Here is portion of a article written by  Roy S. Johnson about Roland Martin. Roland is the host of TV One’s “News One Now” and senior news analyst for the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Show.

          “I don’t care what it is–public or private schools, magnet schools, charter schools, home schooling,” Martin says. “Just get it done.” 
          Few African Americans were traditionally among the leaders of the national education reform movement, which caused significant mistrust. “Black people are two things; we’re intensely loyal but also don’t trust people,” he says. “If we don’t know you, we ain’t trusting you.”

          School Choice is the Black Choice to diversify the school reform movement in America and encourage African-American families to embrace all forms of education for their children. “I have never supported a failing traditional school. I have never supported a failing charter school. So we have to be having a success conversation as opposed to some of these silly back and forth adult conversations that people have that have nothing to do with our child succeeding,” Martin asked.

  • Maria Pereira

    This new requirement actually made it into Education Week.

  • Bob Halstead

    Of course it’s a good idea. Why does common sense have to be mandated. It’s when it comes from the heart it’s true and meaningful.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Lots of agreement on the curriculum change going forward. Now, can we get a “success” discussion going. What markers that can be readily available would show success indications for students, teachers, administrators and other school personnel as well as parents and taxpayers???? What would it look like? How do we use information technology to picture it, record it and archive it to show trends over time and compare it to the resources consumed? Perhaps an AMEN? Time will tell.

  • Gary Tobin

    Questions (These stats from 3 different schools 1 is 5th grade and 2 are 6th grade.)
    Why and how does 75% of the kids in these classes read and write at a 3rd grade level or less? Why and how are their math skill levels also 2 or more grade levels lower than the grade they are in?
    Does anyone think the subject matter African American History, will change these?

    Big question, should any child be advanced to the next grade KNOWING they have not completed the grade level matters?

  • Tom White

    Gary, I suspect that the curriculum will provide the popular excuses for poor performance and bad behavior such as the ‘white privilege’ nonsense.

    I just thought of something. Is this the same group of people who voted to change the BPS holiday from Columbus Day to ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’?

    • Lifelong Bpt

      No Tom White – you simple minded fool – this class will not be an excuse maker for bad bahavior. What I hope it does is educate the students (ALL STUDENTS) of the proper history of those of African and Carribean descent to show them that they can be successful in other areas besides sports and entertainment or standing on the steet corner. It will expand their education beyond the annual once a year Black History Month repetitiveness of just talking about MLK / Rosa Parks / Harriet Tubman. It will show them that despite the view of narrow minded nimrods like yourself, that people of color have contributed and will continue to contribute to the positive advancement of this country. Here are a few names that maybe they will learn and take pride in:
      1) Janet Bashen – Inventor, entrepreneur, professional, consultant:First African-American woman to receive a patent for a web-based software invention, LinkLine, an Equal Employment Opportunity case management and tracking software
      2) Ball, Alice Augusta – Chemist – Extracted chaulmoogra oil for the treatment of Hansen’s disease (leprosy)
      3) Black, Keith – Neurosurgeon – Brain tumor surgery and research
      4)Grant, George F. – Dentist, Professor -The first African-American professor at Harvard, Boston dentist, and inventor of a wooden golf tee.
      There are hundreds of others – do your research and keep that simple minded MAGA attitude to you and your fellow simple minded friends.

      • Gary Tobin

        LifeLong Bpt, should any child be advanced to the next grade KNOWING that they have not met or completed the minimum requirements in the current grade? (such as reading, writing, math(s), science and U.S history)

        • Lifelong Bpt

          Gary no I do not believe in moving along any student that does not meet the requirements. But my post and the new curriculum is not saying that. My post was on the merits of the new course offering. You tied the new course into their proficiency in math and reading. Apples to oranges. The new course is another history course. If they do not pass it then take it again as you should any class that you fail to meet the requirements.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    mackey you wrote that”There are very few white students in the Bridgeport public school system. My concern is about black children getting a good education. ” So I guess we just throw out the white kids. we do not need these requirements so that kids will graduate.
    Which elective do the white kids take.?
    Does this mean we can do away with Black History Month and all Hispanic Holidays. White Kids just forget it This is racist no doubt about it.
    At a time that ids are leaving school and not graduating we add a new ridiculous graduation requirement. Just greata

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