Rubric Evaluating State Coverage of the Civil Rights Movement


Content Expectations (85% of overall grade)

Identify important leaders, groups and events in the civil rights movement. (60%)

• Students should learn that the civil rights movement was a movement composed of many individuals and was not the initiative of any single person or small group of people. All students should learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, but students should learn about at least six additional figures in the civil rights movement.

• Students should be able to identify major groups involved in the civil rights movement. These groups include CORE, SCLC and SNCC. Students should be able to explain the mission and accomplishments of each group as well as trace the relationships between groups.

• Students should be able to identify key events in the civil rights movement and place them in the correct chronology. These events include: Brown v. Board of Education, Little Rock, Freedom Rides, Montgomery Bus Boycott, 24th Amendment, Birmingham bombings and protests, March on Washington, 1964 Civil Rights Act, Freedom Summer, Selma-to-Montgomery march, 1965 Voting Rights Act, Watts and other uprisings, 1968 Civil Rights Act and assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. They should be able to identify the causes and consequences of these events, linking key figures and organizations to each event.

Recognize the causes of the movement and obstacles to its success. (20%)

• Students should be able to trace the roots of the civil rights movement to slavery and disenfranchisement through the Civil War and Reconstruction. They should learn about Jim Crow laws, poll taxes and literacy tests. They should understand the complex causes of Truman’s decision to desegregate the U.S. military, including A. Philip Randolph’s role.

• Students should identify obstacles to the civil rights movement’s success. They should learn the difference between de jure and de facto segregation and examine the extra-judicial enforcement of segregation through diverse tactics such as the formation of the White Citizens’ Councils and the Ku Klux Klan. Students should be able to identify key figures and groups opposing the extension of civil rights, including Bull Connor and one of the major opposing Southern governors (Orval Faubus, George Wallace or Ross Barnett).

Identify movement tactics and explain differences of opinion about those tactics. (20%)

• Students should be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of nonviolent resistance. They should trace its intellectual roots to Gandhi and Thoreau, discussing the role of civil disobedience in a democratic society. They should identify and compare tactics such as boycotts, sit-ins, marches, voter registration and Black Power, used at different times during the struggle for civil rights.

Context and integration of civil rights movement coverage (15%)

• Students learn about the civil rights movement, as appropriate, throughout their education (25%).

• The civil rights movement is linked to current events and concerns. (25%)

• The civil rights movement is incorporated into civics instruction so that, for example, students are encouraged to apply the lessons of the movement when forming their own ideas about effective citizenship. (25%)

• Coverage of the civil rights movement includes connections to other social movements. (25%)