Leaders F (0%)
Groups F (0%)
Events F (0%)
History F (0%)
Opposition F (0%)
Tactics F (0%)
Content F (0%)
Grade levels F (0%)
Current events F (0%)
Civics F (0%)
Other movements F (0%)
Context F (0%)
GRADE F means Connecticut includes none or less than 20% of the recommended content and should significantly revise its standards.
The Connecticut Social Studies Framework for grades PK-12 (2009) does not require study of the civil rights movement. Several grade level expectations (GLEs) mention civil rights movement figures or events as examples, but the Framework makes it clear that “these examples are simply that—suggestions—and are not the only illustrative examples one might choose to use.”
Elementary and Middle School
Grade 3: Students should be able to “explain the significance of events surrounding historical figures (e.g., George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Squanto, Sacagawea, Abraham Lincoln, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks).”
U.S. History: During the high school course, which is the second half of U.S. history, students are expected to:
• “Trace the evolution of citizens’ rights (e.g., Palmer Raids, struggle for civil rights, women’s rights movements, Patriot Act).
• Evaluate the role and impact significant individuals have had on historical events (e.g., Malcolm X, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan).
• Connect Connecticut history to United States history by “describe[ing] how major events in U.S. history affected Connecticut citizens (e.g., Great Depression, World War II, civil rights).”
Civics: One GLE in this one-semester course mentions civil rights when asking students to “analyze laws that have been modified to meet society’s changing values and needs (e.g., civil rights laws, banking regulations).”
Connecticut’s failure to require students to learn about the civil rights movement is disappointing, but not especially surprising given the overall lack of rigor and content in the state’s history standards. Still, it is a shame that a state whose rich history includes the Amistad case and a long tradition of abolitionism does not require students to learn about the civil rights movement at all, let alone its substantial and important history.