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North Carolina gets an “F” in teaching civil rights

The folks at the Southern Poverty Law Center are out with a new report (the NYT has a story here) about how well America is doing in teaching its children about one of the seminal events in American history, the Civil Rights Movement.  

Sadly, most states do not fare well. This is from a release accompanying the report:

“The study compared the requirements in state standards to a body of knowledge that reflects what civil rights historians and educators consider core information about the civil rights movement. It found that:

  • A shocking number of states – 35 – received grades of “F.” 
  • Sixteen states, where local officials set specific policies and requirements for their school districts, have no requirements at all for teaching about the movement.
  • Only three states received a grade of “A” – Alabama, New York and Florida – and even these states have considerable room for improvement.
  • Generally speaking, the farther from the South – and the smaller the African-American population – the less attention paid to the movement.”

Quite disturbingly, North Carolina received a big fat “F.” It was the only state in the southeast to fare so poorly. Here are the details on its performance.

5 Comments

  1. g_whiz

    September 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I mention important events that speak to political inequality in a sociology class I teach, Emmitt Till, Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, Lovings v. the State of Virginia…you’d be surprised how few students (the ones who care even) had ever heard of any of it on the college level.

    Couple that with the depreciating ability for students to write and think critically, and we’ve got a deplorable situation on the state level.

  2. Rob Schofield

    September 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Of course, the John Locke Foundation considers this a “left-wing subject.”

  3. James

    September 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    That’s because all of history is properly a celebration of rich white men starting in the 18th Century.

  4. Occupy Charlotte

    September 29, 2011 at 9:55 am

    thanks for sharing.

  5. Richard Keefe

    September 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Ironic, isn’t it? SPLC founder Morris Dees made thousands in the 60s keeping Klan thugs like Claude Henley out of federal prison for their civil rights hate crimes.

    Henley was part of a Klan attack on a bus carrying about a dozen terrified black and white Freedom Riders into Montgomery. LIFE magazine even published photos of Henley in mid-rampage:

    http://wp.me/pCLYZ-F

    Fortunately,Henley had a good lawyer in Morris Dees. Henley walked out of federal court scot-free, Dees collected thousands of dollars from the local Klan and White Citizens Council, and Henley’s victims got nothing, least of all justice.

    This is the same SPLC where all of the top executives are white. In fact, the SPLC has NEVER hired a person of color to a highly paid position of authority in its entire 40 year history.

    http://wp.me/pCLYZ-7m

    Ms. Costello fails to mention that the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program has been headed by “whites only” for 19 of its 20 year history.

    Some things never change in Montgomery.