Minnesota's social studies standards are up for review - and BIPOC committee members seek major reforms
July 24, 2020
Isabelle Wong, 16, has only ever had one Black teacher — and he taught social studies during her freshman year in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools district. He introduced her to Malcolm X, didn’t skirt around the fact that George Washington owned slaves, and tied Richard Nixon’s war on drugs to issues of systemic racism that persist today.
“Teachers of color can help students comprehend experiences in their life and connect them to systemic racism and how it’s not just them — it’s been happening throughout history,” she said.
In her opinion, this is how social studies should be taught. But her other classroom experiences have fallen short — not looking much beyond Martin Luther King Jr., and often framing historical figures of color and other nations as antagonists.