Human Rights in State Standards

HRE USA advocates for the inclusion of HRE in national and state education policies, standards, curricula, and pedagogy.  Here is an overview of our past and current campaigns:

California
In 2016, we participated in the revision of the California History – Social Science Framework. We provided suggestions to add more robust human rights and international humanitarian law content to the framework.Our suggestions were well-received, and many of them ended up in the new, now finalized, framework. In addition, we were recognized in the Professional Learning chapter of the new framework (Chapter 22, page 824) as a source of high-quality online HRE materials for teachers.

Colorado
In 2017, multiple members of HRE USA’s Collaborative Action, Policy, & Advocacy Committee (CAPAC), along with other HRE USA members/stakeholders who live in Colorado, provided detailed suggestions for stronger human rights education, and international humanitarian law, content to the Colorado Department of Education’s Second Public Feedback Opportunity, as part of the review and revision process for the Colorado Academic Standards. Our suggestions covered the following subject areas, and intersected with various areas of the entire K-12 spectrum: Social Studies (including History, Geography, Economics, and Civics), Reading/Writing/Communicating, Science, Visual Arts, Dance, Drama & Theater Arts, Comprehensive Health, and Music – proof that HRE really can fit into every aspect of the curriculum!

Kansas
in 2018, Kansas will begin to revise its standards, and we have committed to helping stakeholders there who want to make certain that HRE is a vital part of the new standards that emerge from that process.

Massachusetts
HRE USA is currently providing support to HRE USA members/stakeholders in this state to advocate for inclusion of HRE.

>> To join in this effort, please contact Adam Stone

District of Columbia
Increasing HRE in the District of Columbia Public Schools In 2017, CAPAC members wrote to the DC Council Education Committee, Office of the State Superintendent for Education, the State Board of Education, the Deputy Mayor of Education, and the Mayor urging them to begin the process of revising DC’s social studies standards, which were last reviewed and revised in 2006, with emphasis on the incorporation of human rights and humanitarian law principles into the social studies core. In September 2017, a CAPAC member testified before the DC Council Education Committee to urge the Council to revise social studies standards and to create a human rights elective for high school and middle school students. The testimony offered many recommendations for how these initiatives could be implemented and how community resources could be harnessed to train existing and prospective teachers on HRE and provide curriculum. Following the testimony, CAPAC members sent follow-up emails and were invited to meet with the Legislative Council to further discuss HRE in DC schools. We met with the Legislative Council in November and shared what other states are doing as far as standards, budgets, and Amnesty International USA’s Human Rights Friendly Schools model. A CAPAC member also testified at a public meeting before DC’s State Board of Education urging them to begin the process of revising DC’s social studies standards, with particular emphasis on the incorporation of human rights and humanitarian law principles. This has garnered support from at least one Board member. At the Board’s request, CAPAC is gathering other organizations, teachers, and students to testify on this issue during the next public meeting. We also submitted comments to the DC Graduation Requirements Task Force, suggesting that DC should make competency in HRE a requirement for all DC students.

South Carolina
HRE USA is currently providing support to HRE USA members/stakeholders in this state to advocate for inclusion of HRE. Learn more here.

>> To join in this effort, please contact Adam Stone