Mississippi

History of civil rights movement gets short shrift in Mississippi classrooms

Despite efforts to require lessons on civil rights, outdated textbooks indicate little has changed

In the 2015-16 school year, none of the social studies textbooks listed for use in the state’s fourth grade classroom was published before 2005.

In the 2015-16 school year, none of the social studies textbooks listed for use in the state’s fourth grade classroom was published before 2005.

The Mississippi fight against integration and civil rights was the most organized, defiant, and violent of anywhere in the country. But until 2011, civil rights history was not part of the required curriculum in Mississippi public schools.

“Before then, it was up to the discretion of the teacher if the civil rights movement was taught at all inside a classroom,” according to reporter Sierra Mannie.

In 2011, the Mississippi Department of Education issued a new set of standards requiring lessons on civil rights history.

Sierra Mannie, who reported on civil rights education for The The Hechinger Report and Reveal explains what she found in her recent investigation of civil rights education and textbooks in Mississippi, in this week’s episode of Educate.

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