The civil rights movement is an aspect of the country's history of which all Americans can be proud.
Minority leaders fought for a just cause through nonviolent methods and an appeal to basic principles of human rights. The movement was an inspiration to oppressed people around the world, and its success can be judged by looking at the current occupant of the White House.
The movement changed the country for the better in fundamental ways, and it seems only natural that its story should be part of what American students learn in school. According to a new report, however, that's not happening to the degree that it should.
The report, called “Teaching the Movement 2014: The State of Civil Rights Education in the United States,” released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, gives every state a letter grade that reflects how well the civil rights movement is taught in that state.
Twenty states got an F.
Students deserve to have a full, rich understanding of what the civil rights movement was about and what it accomplished. Teaching classes on the movement in the basic education of American students is not just a matter of instilling pride. The story of the movement offers essential lessons in the political process and the mechanics of democracy. If that's not important to teach American kids, what is?
We hope educators consider the report and make appropriate improvements.