McDuffie Introduces Bill to Create African American and Cultural Studies Course at District High Schools

McDuffie Introduces Bill to Create African American and Cultural Studies Course at District High Schools

As introduced, the legislation requires that the course be counted toward graduation requirements

The new course seeks to increase student proficiency and engagement while offering a full and unvarnished telling of American history

Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie introduced the African American and Cultural Studies Inclusion Amendment Act of 2020. The legislation, which was co-introduced by twelve Councilmembers, will require the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to develop an African American and Cultural Studies curriculum for high school students enrolled in either a District of Columbia Public School or a District of Columbia Public Charter School, and to allow such course to be counted as part of the promotion requirements toward graduation.

The legislation requires the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs (MOAAA) and the Commission on African American Affairs to coordinate with OSSE, DCPS, and other relevant stakeholders in order to develop a comprehensive and robust plan and curriculum for the teaching of African American history. As introduced, the legislation establishes a timeline for development and implementation that is designed to work within the existing framework of curriculum review and the course would begin being offered in the fall of 2022.

With introduction of this legislation, Councilmember McDuffie said:

“It is critical that we are teaching our students a full and unvarnished accounting of American history. If this bill becomes law, our public school curriculum will expressly include the study the ‘experience and contributions’ of African Americans, the slave trade, as well as ‘the socio-economic struggle that African-Americans experienced collectively in striving to achieve fair and equal treatment under the laws of the United States.

This legislation supports the comprehensive efforts of the DC Government to increase student proficiency and actively engage students in their education with the goal to foster greater cultural relevancy for minority students, especially among African Americans.”