National Institute on Aging

A Majority of States Do Not Adequately Teach the Civil Rights Movement in Their Public Schools

Teaching the MovementA new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, rates the states on well they teach the civil rights movement in their public school systems.

Only three states scored a letter grade of A from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Interestingly, all three states are in the South: South Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia. Another eight states scores a letter grade of B and many of these states are also in the South.

A majority of the states received a letter grade of D or F in teaching the civil rights movement. According to the report these states cover the civil rights movement in their curriculum “incidentally or haphazardly” or don’t make any references to the civil rights movement in their guidelines for teaching American history. Many of the states that received a grade of D or F are states with small percentages of African Americans in their populations. But the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Illinois, and Texas all received grades of D. Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Wisconsin received grades of F.

The report, Teaching the Movement 2014: The State of Civil Rights Education in the United States, can be downloaded by clicking here.


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