Most of the momentous events that impacted US Latino history. new reportyou by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Educational Policy and UnidosUS, a national Latino advocacy and research organization.
The study found that 87% of key Latino topics were not covered in US history textbooks or were mentioned in just five sentences or less.
«Only 28 of 222 important topics were covered well, omitting many aspects of the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, the US acquisition of Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal, the modern civil rights movement, Cold War politics and legal developments shaping the Latino experience, such as the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and racial segregation,» according to a report release.
More than a quarter of the nation’s K-12 public school students are Latino.
The researchers analyzed five US history textbooks used in seven states and one AP US history book. The study looked at the overall portrayal of the Latino experience over the centuries, the balance between discussions of inequality and Latino contributions to the US, language use, and image authenticity.
The topics with the greatest depth of content were US land purchases from Mexico and Latin American foreign policy, 1.4 out of a maximum of three. But when it came to coverage of America’s «first» Latinos from 1821 to the present, the coverage was the «thinnest»: .1 of three.
The report also found that while the AP textbook and a couple of other textbooks contextualized the importance of certain concepts and their impact on the Latino experience, for example, the role of nativism in examining how certain groups were treated of people, including Latinos, other textbooks «were intellectually flat.»
In addition, the investigation revealed that the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latino Supreme Court Justice was the only event in the last 200 years that was noted in every book as a pivotal Latino moment.
The report issued several recommendations, including that publishers develop textbooks «that fully expose students to the experiences of Latinos, incorporating rigorous content that includes primary and secondary sources. At a minimum, publishers should commission independent reviews of their texts.» , measured against the seminal content.
The researchers also urged teachers, parents, and community leaders to advocate for more inclusive curricula and materials, and to hold meetings with school officials and school boards.
«As the country becomes more diverse,» said Viviana López Green, senior director of the racial equity initiative at UnidosUS, in a statement, «it is essential that our future workers, employers, community leaders and public officials know about the contributions and experiences of all Americans, including Latinos, the country largest racial/ethnic minority.”
José Gregory, a US history professor in Atlanta and a consultant to the project, said in a statement that «the experience of American Latinos must be accurately represented to our youth in the classroom if we want them to grow up in a society that recognizes and values the contributions made by people of color.»