Journal article Open Access

Diversifying the American School System: The Evidence Paints a Clear Picture

Ray Nobuhara; Helena Baruch; Angelica Katcher; Rahib Taher; Michelle Seucan

The Eurocentric curriculum of the American school system has been a staple element in the education of its youth. For centuries, schools have incessantly utilized the teachings and themes of white savior narratives while consequently gaslighting the historical portrayals of people of color. Fairly recently, in 2018, The College Board announced a drastic makeover in their placement exam: they would narrow the scope of the AP World History Test to prioritize European expansion and imperialism. While the board had not explicitly made this their incentive, they argued that the curriculum was simply “too broad” and encompassed too many topics. Educational institutions have frequently propelled these similar past iterations; they have praised the historical feats of white figures and pacified the depiction of the few-taught Black historical figures in order to accommodate the white agenda and curriculum. The history books meant to educate the American youth are those that have played a direct role in redirecting educational focus to taper the academic gaze to solely see the white male authority figure. Lack of diversity has been a huge factor in hindering the developmental growth of students - and especially students of color - when encountering situations having to do with prejudice, knowledge, confidence, and confrontation in diverse environments. It has been proven that with ample exposure to inclusive curricula, students have excelled in classes and overall performance, as well as feeling more empowered.

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