By Chamiya Carnathan and Penelope Morris
On behalf of Globalize DC’s #Stop Asian Hate Project
In the spring of 2021, amidst rising rates of anti-AAPI hate, some students from our after-school Japanese Tamago program testified before the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) to demand more inclusion of Asian and Asian American content in the DC social studies standards (what all DC public school students in DCPS and DC charter schools are required to learn).
What students learn in school is key to reducing anti-Asian/AAPI hate, and DC’s current social studies standards are not adequately addressing this issue.
Here are just some of the issues we noticed when we reviewed the standards back in 2021:
- The inclusion of Asian and Asian American content starts far too late in the curriculum – around sixth grade.
- Most mentions of Asia and Asians are political and fail to explore other aspects of Asian history and culture.
- Asian history is often explored in relation to American history, not as its own story.
- Most importantly, there simply isn’t enough Asian and Asian American content in the standards!
You can read more about our findings and recommendations HERE.
Luckily, the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), with guidance from the State Board, is currently in the process of rewriting the social studies standards. We expect draft standards will be out in mid-December for public comment.
We need to get ready!!
So we at Globalize DC are inviting other DC students and recent graduates (as well as other interested community members) to join with us to review and critique the new draft standards and give meaningful feedback to OSSE and the Board to get the best standards possible. This can make a huge difference in how DC students are educated in the future.
If you or anyone you know is passionate about Asian/AAPI culture and social justice, fill out this simple Google Form so we can keep you updated.
As soon as the draft standards are released in mid-December, we will schedule an open meeting on Zoom to share information and strategy ideas with interested persons (both students and adults). Our online meeting previously scheduled for December 8 is being postponed until that time.
If you have questions or immediate thoughts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.