Connecticut high schools to become first to offer black and Latino studies in 2022

By Alma Fabiani

Published Dec 14, 2020 at 11:28 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

In autumn 2022, Connecticut will require high schools to offer African-American, Black, Puerto Rican and Latino studies, becoming the first state in the US to do so. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced the news last week on Wednesday 9 December after signing the law, the Public Act 19-12, last year. What does this law require exactly and which students will take these new classes?

What is the Connecticut Public Act 19-12?

The law requires high schools to “include an elective course of studies at the high school level that provides students with a better understanding of the African-American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino contributions to United States history, society, economy, and culture,” according to a press release.

While high schools in the state will be required to offer the new course, students will not be required to take it. Schools may start to offer the course in 2021 and will be required to offer it during the school year that begins in the fall of 2022.

The new curriculum will focus on an inquiry-based approach that will include both content knowledge and student identity development. The course, which will take a year to be completed, is hoped to lead to better racial relations in communities and a more inclusive state.

Why this sudden change now?

The change comes as school districts across the country pay more and more attention to diversifying ‘K-12 curriculums’ (subjects taught in school from grades kindergarten through twelve), as communities assess what history is taught in schools and what is left out.

In a statement, Governor Lamont said “this is a step that is long overdue. Increasing the diversity of what we teach is critical to providing students with a better understanding of who we are as a society and where we are going.”

“Adding this course in our high schools will be an enormous benefit not only to our Black and Latino students, but to students of all backgrounds because everyone can benefit from these studies,” he further explained. But Lamont was not the only one to praise the move.

Miguel Cardona, the education commissioner of the state said that 27 per cent of students in the state identify as Hispanic or Latino and 13 per cent identify as black or African American.

“Identities matter,” Cardona said in a statement. “This curriculum acknowledges that by connecting the story of people of color in the US to the larger story of American history. The fact is that more inclusive, culturally relevant content in classrooms leads to greater student engagement and better outcomes for all.”

The Connecticut Public Act 19-12 passed due in large part to the strong advocacy of students from around the state and the legislative leadership of State Representative Bobby Gibson and State Senator Doug McCrory.

Meanwhile in Connecticut, another bill has been proposed to require the teaching of Native American history, which is currently recommended but not required.

Keep On Reading

By Alma Fabiani

Is David Attenborough dead? Netizens concerned by trending hashtag

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Tory MP Gillian Keegan asked to justify arresting homeless people for their smell

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Keke Palmer’s ex-boyfriend Darius Jackson files restraining order after disturbing video emerges

By Abby Amoakuh

Where is Alexa Demie, the breakout star of Euphoria season one, and what is she doing now?

By Abby Amoakuh

South Africa is challenging the Western-led world order with its genocide case against Israel

By Malavika Pradeep

What is vaporwave? Here’s everything you need to know about the viral music genre

By Abby Amoakuh

From techno string quartets to thrifted dresses, Gen Z weddings are on the rise

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Percy Hynes White speaks out after Netflix confirmed that he won’t return for Wednesday season 2

By Abby Amoakuh

Man convicted of cyberflashing after sending picture of penis to 15-year-old girl on WhatsApp

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

What does the US Supreme Court’s decision to abolish mass protests in three states mean for democracy?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

From Best Director to Best Picture, here are our top 2024 Oscar predictions

By Abby Amoakuh

Mother-daughter pole dancing class sparks uproar over concerns of child sexualisation

By Fleurine Tideman

Is BeReal dead? We asked two social media experts and the app’s COO to find out

By Abby Amoakuh

TikTok momfluencer Jacquelyn faces new safety concern allegations for toddler Wren Eleanor

By Abby Amoakuh

Where is Melania Trump? Is the former First Lady hatching an escape plan?

By Charlie Sawyer

Jacob Elordi accused of grabbing radio employee’s throat over Saltburn bathwater prank

By Charlie Sawyer

Actor Jamie Dornan guiltily admits to stalking women in London. Here’s why

By Charlie Sawyer

Poison seller who promoted death kits on suicide forums tracked down by BBC

By Abby Amoakuh

Online adoption ads prey on pregnant women in actions reminiscent of the Baby Scoop era

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Who is Bianca Censori and why is her controversial family worried about Kanye West?