Many American States Are Prioritizing AAPI Studies in K-12 Education

The same report also recognizes and categorizes other American states by their openness towards AAPI studies

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2:46 PM HKT, Tue July 26, 2022 1 mins read

In recent years, many American states have received ordinances to incorporate AAPI and ethnic studies in public school curriculums, underlines a report published by the Committee of 100, a New York-based organization spearheaded by Chinese Americans in business, government, academia and the arts industry.

To be specific, seven American states are required by law to include AAPI studies in their curriculums.

In 2021, Illinois made history by decreeing that Asian American history be taught in public schools. New Jersey, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Oregon swiftly followed suit.

U.S. Map for AAPI Education Requirements

It is also heartening to note that 10 other states plus the District of Columbia require their schools to equip students with a general understanding of AAPI studies or to teach “at least three major events of AAPI history.”

As far as AAPI-related historical events go, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, and Asian immigration are oft-included in these states’ curricula.

The same report also highlights and categorizes other American states by their openness towards AAPI studies. For instance, category 3 states have recently introduced bills that require the education of ethnic studies, while category 7 states have bills or statues that recommend AAPI electives, model curriculums or advisory groups.

U.S. Map for AAPI Education Requirements

“Public schools are critical in shaping citizens. In most states, schools do not require students to learn about the contributions of Americans of Asian descent, but Asian American history is American history,” said Zhengyu Huang, president of the Committee of 100.

Recent years have witnessed a soaring number of hate crimes against the Asian community. Nevertheless, such targeted discrimination isn’t novel. Centuries-worth of hostility, which have cemented racially-charged fears such as ‘yellow peril,’ have contributed to some of the challenges currently faced by America.

U.S. Map for AAPI Education Requirements

"If they don’t learn this [AAPI studies] as children, how can students become citizens who will understand the challenges and struggles of all Americans?" continued Huang.

Committee of 100, a non-partisan leadership organization, aims to promote a better understanding of Chinese and other Asian communities in the U.S., and has previously published materials such as the anti-Asian hate glossary to convey the Asian American’s community's challenges.

On July 27, the organization will hold a virtual event to provide an analysis of and discussion on the report, which can be downloaded here.

Cover image via Unsplash. All other visuals courtesy of the Committee of 100

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