State Board of Education News

SBOE gives preliminary approval to African American Studies course

Texas is poised to become the fifth state in the country to approve a state-level  African American Studies course for high school after the State Board of Education on Friday approved the course on a preliminary vote.

The board approved the one-credit elective high school social studies course for first reading and filing authorization.

The proposed course will next move to a formal public comment period scheduled for March 6 to April 10. After gathering this feedback and making any necessary adjustments, the course will be considered for final approval at the board’s April 17 meeting.

“I’m proud of what this board has done for ethnic studies both in the past for Mexican American Studies and what we are currently doing for African American Studies,” said SBOE Chair Keven Ellis.

The state course is based on an innovative course created by the Dallas Independent School District. The course, implemented for the first time this school year, is currently being taught at 16 DISD schools.

The course offers a broad overview of the history and culture of African Americans and covers topics such as history, citizenship, culture, economics, science, technology, geography and politics.

Currently, North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee are the only other states to have a state-approved elective course in African American history.

This course would become the second ethnic studies course approved by the SBOE. It approved a one-credit elective course in Mexican American Studies in 2018.