Schools directed to expand history curriculums

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State legislators across the country are increasingly directing their schools to teach students more about the struggles and triumphs of different races and ethnic groups -- a move critics say amounts to politically correct meddling.

In the latest such example, a new commission in New York will examine whether the "physical and psychological terrorism" against Africans in the slave trade is being adequately taught in schools. The commission is named for the slave ship Amistad, which was commandeered by slaves who eventually won their freedom in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The recommendations could mean rewriting textbooks, which may influence educators in other states, according to the National Council for the Social Studies.

A number of other states have enacted similar measures in the last five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Illinois also created an Amistad commission this year and added lessons on the Holocaust, while New Mexico's legislature required Indian education lessons be bolstered in kindergarten through sixth grade.

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