Leaders F (0%)
Groups F (0%)
Events F (8%)
History F (0%)
Opposition F (0%)
Tactics D (29%)
Content F (7%)
Grade levels F (0%)
Current events F (0%)
Civics F (0%)
Other movements F (0%)
Context D (25%)
Items the State Requires
Events: Brown. Tactics: Civil disobedience, tactics.
GRADE F means Ohio includes none or less than 20% of the recommended content and should significantly revise its standards.
Ohio adopted academic content standards for social studies in 2002. While Martin Luther King Jr. is mentioned in a list of important figures in American history that second graders might learn about, instruction on the civil rights movement is not officially recommended until students are older.
Elementary and Middle School
Grade 2: Students learn about important figures in American history such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Grade 10: By the end of grade 10, students should be able to meet the following performance indicators:
• Analyze the origins, major developments, controversies and consequences of the civil rights movement with emphasis on: Brown v. Board of Education; changes in goals and tactics of leading civil rights advocates and organizations; the linkages between the civil rights movement and movements to gain justice for other minority groups.
• Explain how civil disobedience differs from other forms of dissent and evaluate its application and consequences including: women’s suffrage movement of the late 1800s; civil rights movement of the 1960s; student protests during the Vietnam War.
• Analyze instances in which the rights of individuals were restricted including: conscientious objectors in World War I; immigrants during the Red Scare; intellectuals and artists during the McCarthy era; African Americans during the civil rights movement.
Ohio’s Department of Education has created an optional Social Studies Model Curriculum covering each grade. The American history curriculum document explains that “African-American organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the National Urban League (NUL) struggled for equal opportunities and to end segregation. They demonstrated and sought redress in the courts to change long-standing policies and laws.”
The curriculum suggests that students should read or watch Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and “evaluate whether the ideals of the speech have been realized in modern American society.” The curriculum also references a few external lesson plans, including PBS resources on the March on Washington, primary documents about Jim Crow laws and a lesson on civil disobedience in the civil rights movement.
Elsewhere, the American Government curriculum references a link to a National Park Service bibliography with information about civil rights movement.
Ohio’s civil rights movement requirements are minimally sketched out. The standards omit essentially all content necessary for a core understanding of the movement, including key figures and groups, essential events, relevant history and often-virulent opposition. While Ohio does encourage students to learn about movement tactics, it even approaches this goal without content or historical examples. The state has a long way to go if it wishes to craft standards that will set appropriately high expectations for students.