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09/24/2021 12:29 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=35929
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 22, 2021 05:08 PM
From: Representative Danilo Burgos and Rep. Joseph C. Hohenstein, Rep. Sara Innamorato, Rep. Regina G. Young
To: All House members
Subject: Diverse History Instruction in our Schools
 
In 1954, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. earnestly told his congregation “Instead of making history, we are made by history.” The importance of knowing and understanding the history of our nation is of vital importance to our democracy and identity as Americans. Yet, our educational system does not currently paint an accurate or full portrayal of our rich history where all of our students can see themselves. 
 
In a recent Stanford Research Study, it was found that students who took ethnic-studies courses made gains in attendance, grades, and even the number of course credits they earned to graduate. The benefits of teaching a more inclusive history are not just academic; learning the history and contributions of African- and Latino-Americans helps dispel myths and build connections among students of all races and backgrounds. That is why, as people who are deeply committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive society, it is our honor to introduce legislation to require our schools to offer instruction in African American and Latino history to students. Under our bill, the Department of Education would be required to develop a model curriculum that schools can use to accomplish this goal.
 
African American and Latino history are American history. The story of these underrepresented groups must go beyond Black History Month and Latino History Month. In the wake of recent legislation that would aim to erase our history from being taught, all of our students deserve to receive instruction that includes all of our stories that ultimately make up the rich story of America, regardless of culture or race. Please join us in embracing the history of all of our Pennsylvanian students.