The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, June 13, 2005  

Schools Adopt African Studies Mandate

For a while things were sort of quiet, improving even, on the subject of Philadelphia public schools, these days headed quite effectively by Paul Vallas, who since July 2002 has carried the title “chief executive officer” of the School District of Philadelphia.

But the School Reform Commission, with Vallas’s blessing, opened a can of worms last week by announcing that, beginning with September’s freshman class, all Philadelphia public-school students will have to take a separate course in African and African American history in order to graduate, the first such mandate in the country.

The reaction has been predictable.

If you’re into the whole culture wars in education thing -- and it’s a veritable cottage industry, particularly on the right -- you can catch up on the situation through the following links from the local newspapers:

“Phila. School Mandate: African History,” by Susan Snyder, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 9.

“African Study Plan Stirs Debate,” by Susan Snyder and Dale Mezzacappa, Inquirer, June 10.

“Forces Behind History Mandate,” by Susan Snyder, Inquirer, June 12.

“African American History: Learning the Right Lesson,” an Inquirer editorial, June 13.

“Studying Africa: First Step to a Bigger World for Philly Schools,” a Philadelphia Daily News editorial, June 13.

| HOME |

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |