Leaders F (0%)
Groups F (0%)
Events F (8%)
History D (29%)
Opposition F (0%)
Tactics F (0%)
Content F (5%)

Grade levels F (0%)
Current events F (0%)
Civics F (0%)
Other movements F (0%)
Context F (0%)

Items the State Requires
: Brown. History: De facto, de jure segregation.

GRADE F means Oklahoma includes none or less than 20% of the recommended content and should significantly revise its standards.

Survey of Standards and Frameworks
Oklahoma’s expectations for instructional content in history are contained in the Priority Academic Skills (PASS) for Social Studies.

Elementary and Middle School
No instruction on the civil rights movement is required before high school.

High School
Grade 12:
The PASS document includes two objectives detailing knowledge students should have about the civil rights movement before graduation from high school. These are:

• Describe de jure and de facto segregation policies, attempts at desegregation and integration and the impact of the civil rights movement on society (e.g., Brown v. Board of Education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the lunch counter sit-ins in Oklahoma City and elsewhere, the Freedom Rides, integration of Little Rock Central High School, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965).

• Identify the contributions of political leaders, political activists, civil rights leaders (e.g., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall and César Chavez), major issues, and scandals, including the Watergate scandal, and major trends in national elections (e.g., differences between the two major political parties and the rise of third-party candidates).

These are two of the 10 objectives comprising all information students should learn about American history since World War II. The Oklahoma Department of Education publishes a more detailed PASS checklist for teachers working with these standards. It recommends 55 “Critical Content and Terms to Understand” for this era. Of these terms, six are related to the civil rights movement. They are: de jure segregation policies, de facto segregation policies, desegregation, integration, civil rights movement and Brown v. Board of Education.

Oklahoma’s standards barely require any study of the civil rights movement other than to simply state that the civil rights movement is required. 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. The latter issue is particularly important given the state’s continuing failure to come to terms with the 1921 Tulsa riots and difficult race relations before and since. The state has a long way to go if it wishes to craft standards that will set appropriately high expectations for student learning.