Zimmerman discusses divergent laws creating different curriculum in red and blue states in “Washington Post”

April 5, 2024
A graphic of a divided United States map in blue and red, with silhouetted figures in the foreground against a gradient background.

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State legislatures across the country are passing laws regulating what can be taught in school and college classrooms — and pushing the country farther apart in the process.

Penn GSE education historian Jonathan Zimmerman recently told the Washington Post that there is no precedent for states attempting to regulate curriculum in local school districts in this way. A Post analysis found that legislatures in liberal and conservative states are mandating increasingly different rules for how race, sex, and gender can be discussed, and when they can be discussed at all.

“What the laws show is that we have extremely significant differences over how we imagine America,” Zimmerman said. “State legislatures have now used the power of law to try to inscribe one view, and to prevent another. And so we’re deeply divided in America.”

While laws are proliferating, Zimmerman is skeptical that all teachers will change what they teach.

Read the full Post story here.