New York City Schools Plan To Expand Black Studies Curriculum

David C. Banks, New York City’s schools chancellor, said, “it’s “not just important for Black kids. It’s important for all.”

There has been a war on Black studies in red states across the country, however, New York City is ensuring the history of African Americans will be taught to all students.

According to the New York Times, starting next fall, New York City will start a new Black studies curriculum in a small number of classrooms, and could eventually grow to hundreds of schools across the five boroughs. Additionally, studies that focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities will increase in pre-K to 12. David C. Banks, New York City’s schools chancellor, said, “My exposure to Black studies curricula in particular is what has helped to shape me,” he added, it’s “not just important for Black kids. It’s important for all.”

Currently in New York City, teachers are not required to teach the new curriculums, but they are encouraged to do so. In California, the state requires all public schools to offer at least one ethnic studies course by the 2025-26 school year.

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More than 40 states have introduced bills that could limit what schools can teach about race, American history, gender identity and sexual orientation. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been at the forefront of limiting the history topics that teachers may present in classrooms, and he has famously opposed Critical Race Theory (CRT), a college-level academic framework to analyze systemic racism, which is not taught at elementary or secondary schools. DeSantis signed the Stop WOKE Act into law last year, which forbade the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Florida schools, but the language was vaguing, allowing his administration to block an Advanced Placement course on African American studies.

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