Three months ago, E4E-Boston educators, staff, and partners testified in a virtual session of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Education in support of inclusive curriculum legislation. Since that hearing, the only progress we have seen is more states across the country promoting “patriotic” propaganda to replace accurate curricula, chilling educators’ speech, or banning books by authors of color.
As a state that prides itself on its progressive politics, Massachusetts must step up against this draconian campaign. The best way to do that is by passing an omnibus bill on inclusive and culturally relevant curriculum before the end of the current legislative session. There are a number of strong bills that have been filed this session that, if signed into law, would make curriculum in Massachusetts more inclusive, culturally relevant, and anti-racist. E4E-Boston urges legislators to take the best parts of the following bills (and others) to craft an impactful omnibus inclusive curriculum law:
H.671/S.304 (The Racially and Culturally Inclusive Curriculum Act),
H.584/S.365 (An Act Relative to Anti-Racism, Equity, and Justice in Education)
H.618/S.310 (An Act Relative to LGBTQ+ Inclusive Curriculum)
H.651/S.382 (An Act Relative to Celebrating and Teaching Native American Culture and History)
At E4E-Boston, we believe educators are the best experts on education policy, because they are the ones who have the deepest knowledge of where current law is falling short in classrooms. Here’s why some of our E4E-Boston educators believe an omnibus inclusive curriculum bill is essential for their students:
Hannah Coughlan, Boston Public Schools: “We desperately need to address the wrongs of our nation's history. Without a law that mandates curriculum to be culturally-responsive, this work is still a ‘choice’ and our education system will continue to promote bias and racism. Every child deserves a curriculum that not only is representative of themselves, but empowers them to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Eunji Gloria Cho, Brockton Public Schools: “We need a law promoting racially and culturally inclusive curriculum statewide. It is one thing to talk about narrowing the opportunity gap, an inclusive curriculum law would add accountability to ensure that this happens. Let’s not just talk about it, let’s be about it!”
Nasheline Jean-Baptiste, Boston Public Schools: “As someone of color, I want my students to feel that what they are learning is important about themselves. Students need to see themselves and learn about their own history so they can feel represented. Teachers also need to be educated about it, too. The curriculum isn't just for students, but also for teachers.”
We urge Chair Lewis, Chair Peisch, and all legislators committed to creating a better curriculum in Massachusetts to hear these educators’ voices and join together and craft legislation that can move our students toward a more inclusive future.