Ohio bill would add Asian American and Pacific Islander history into school curriculum

A person writing on a chalkboard during History class in a school.[Juan Ci/Shutterstock]
A person writing on a chalkboard during History class in a school.[Juan Ci/Shutterstock]
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A bill proposed in the Ohio state senate would require Ohio's K-through-12 schools to develop a curriculum to teach Asian American history to students. The focus would be both national in scope as well as focused on the history of Asian Americans here in Ohio and the Midwest.  The effort to incorporate Asian American Pacific Islander history into school classrooms has been gathering momentum in several states. We discuss the idea behind the bill with its main sponsor, State Senator Tina Maharath. She is the first Asian American woman elected to the Ohio Senate.   

The Ohio Supreme Court has struck down, for a second time, proposed legislative maps for Ohio's House and Senate districts.  In rejecting these latest maps by a 4-3 decision, the court said the maps were still unconstitutional and failed to meet the anti-gerrymandering reforms passed by voters. As in the previous decision, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor proved to be the swing vote on the court.  She sided with the court's three Democrats in a majority opinion that sends the Ohio Redistricting Commission back to work, again. The commission now has until February 17 to draw new maps.

Those are the maps for the Ohio legislative districts.   Also,  still in the works is a second effort at a new Congressional map.  The Ohio Supreme Court rejected the first draft of that map as well, saying it disproportionately favored Republicans. They ordered lawmakers to redraw the map.  Ohio will lose one seat in Congress due to the 2020 Census.  As a result, Ohio's new congressional map will carve the state into 15 districts instead of the current 16.

Tonight, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be stages its first public meetings, to get input from the community as the district considers changing the names of four buildings. The schools under consideration for new monikers are: Louis Agassiz Elementary, Albert Bushnell Hart Elementary, Patrick Henry Elementary and Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy.   Each of those names is now deemed inappropriate, because of their namesake's stances on race - and slavery.  Throughout the next few weeks, parents and community members will have multiple opportunities to provide input.

For More Information:

United Way Community Conversation: Education: The continued impact of the pandemic on children, teachers, and schools


Tina Maharath, Ohio Senate District 3, (D-Columbus), Bill Sponsor
Latha Srinivasan, Testifying in Support of History Bill
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public  Radio/TV 
Jenny Hamel, Education Reporter, Ideastream Public Media  

Ohio Channel On-Demand Video

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