Great news out of California: The state Board of Education yesterday evening approved 10 LGBT-inclusive history and social studies textbooks to be used in K-8 classrooms–and rejected two that excluded LGBT people.
The move was in support of the state’s 2012 FAIR Education Act, which requires California textbooks to include the political, economic, and social contributions of LGBT people and people with disabilities, and the state’s 2016 History-Social Science Framework, which lays out in more detail what topics are to be covered.
In September, the California Department of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission’s gave preliminary approval to the textbooks. Their approval was conditional upon edits made by the FAIR Education Act Implementation Coalition, a group of LGBT advocacy and educational organizations that was making sure the state adhered to the standards. Yesterday, the state Board of Ed accepted all of the Coalition’s suggestions after an emotional public hearing.
This is a major step forward towards helping all children learn more fully about the state, country, and world of which they are part, and to helping LGBTQ youth and children of LGBTQ parents see themselves as part of our history and society.
Kudos to Our Family Coalition, which led the FAIR Education Act Implementation Coalition (a veritable nest of coalitions!), and to all of the organizations and individuals that made this happen, including Equality California, GSA Network, the Committee on LGBT History, Los Angeles LGBT Center, ACLU, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, and the Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County.
Importantly, too, EdSource reports that California’s accomplishment could be the foundation for change in other states: “The board also said it was making history by approving new textbooks they expect to be models for other states across the nation — for their new content related to diverse populations as well as for robust lessons in civic engagement.”
May more states follow the Golden State’s example.
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