Connecticut Schools Required To Offer Black, Latino Studies

Connecticut will reportedly become the first state in America to require that all high schools offer Black, African American, Puerto Rican and Latino studies.

According to CNN, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Wednesday (December 9) he signed Public Act 19-12, which requires schools to “include an elective course of studies at the high school level that provides students with a better understanding of the African-American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino contributions to United States history, society, economy, and culture.” That said, students are not required to take the offered courses.

There has been increased attention nationwide to assessing what history is taught in schools and what is left out.

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In a statement, Lamont said “this is a step that is long overdue.”

“Increasing the diversity of what we teach is critical to providing students with a better understanding of who we are as a society and where we are going,” the governor said. “Adding this course in our high schools will be an enormous benefit not only to our Black and Latino students, but to students of all backgrounds because everyone can benefit from these studies.”

Miguel Cardona, the education commissioner of the state,  praised the move and says 27 percent of students in the state identify as Hispanic or Latino and 13 percent identify as Black or African-American.

“Identities matter,” Cardona said in a statement, according to CNN. “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.”

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