By | Been Written
Contributing Writer | Telegraph Local
NBC Chicago is reporting that the Illinois State Board of Education is being asked by Chicago-area leaders in education, politics and other areas to change the history curriculum at schools statewide. The Chicago leaders are requesting that the schools temporarily halt instruction until an alternative is decided upon.
When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of IllinoisansState Rep. LaShawn K. Ford
Attending a news conference held at an Evanston suburb, State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford said current history teachings lead to a racist society and overlook the contributions of women and minorities.
Newsletters were handed out before the news conference titled “Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools“.
In the newsletter it says, “Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools,” in which Ford asked the ISBOE and school districts to immediately remove history curriculum and books that “unfairly communicate” history “until a suitable alternative is developed.”
“We’re concerned that current school history teachings lead to white privilege and a racist society,” Ford said.
Ford and the other leaders never mentioned anything beyond the term “suitable alternative”, concerning what type of history would be appropriate to teach in Illinois schools, and especially those who would decide what that alternate version of history would include.
Who Is LaShawn K. Ford?
An Illinois native, State Representative LaShawn K. Ford is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives since at least 2009. He attended Niles College Seminary and then Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Political Science.
For six years, Ford taught elementary school social studies and coached basketball in the Chicago Public Schools. As a licensed Real Estate Broker, he founded his own real estate business, Ford Desired Real Estate.
He is an Illinois Licensed Insurance Agent and continues to be licensed as a teacher, according to his official website.
Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools
Concerned that current school history teaching leads to white privilege and a racist society, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, will join local leaders today at noon at the Robert Crown Center in Evanston to call on the state to stop its current history teaching practices until appropriate alternatives are developed.
“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said. “I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history. Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved. I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston.”
Attendees at Sunday’s press conference will discuss how current history teaching practices overlook the contributions by Women and members of the Black, Jewish, LGBTQ communities and other groups. These individuals are pushing for an immediate change in history changing practice starting this school year.
“The miseducation of our children must stop,” said Meleika Gardner of We Will. “It is urgent that it comes to an end as we witness our current climate become more hostile. Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.”
Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty notes “As Mayor, I am not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended. This is not my area. Personally, I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America.”