U.S. Schools Revamp Curricula In Response To Black Lives Matter

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tags: African American history, teaching history, Protest, secondary education

John Marshall keeps a picture of Breonna Taylor in his office at the headquarters of Kentucky’s largest school district, a visual reminder, he says, of the need for curriculum changes that better honor and focus on Black stories.

Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician, spent her senior year of high school at Kentucky’s Jefferson County Public Schools, where Marshall, the district’s chief diversity officer, has been leading a system-wide revamp of teaching materials and practices.

Taylor was shot dead by police officers in March. Her death and that of George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis police in May, and others have set off a national reckoning over race and race relations.

No criminal charges have been filed against the officers involved in Taylor’s death, infuriating many in the school district, where a majority of the nearly 100,000 students are students of color.

For educators in Jefferson County and across the United States, the deaths have jump-started demands for teaching materials and practices that help Black students better understand their history and place in the country.

After a summer of teacher workshops focused on updating curricula, millions of students will return to U.S. classrooms in coming weeks - virtually or in person - that focus more on Black history and experiences, according to interviews with teachers, officials, publishers and others.

“We’re not just talking about a couple of lesson changes,” said Marshall. “We’re getting to the quintessential work of trying to put race, equity and inclusion inside of our curriculum.”

Read entire article at Reuters

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