Posted on June 23, 2005

Lawmaker Wants School Requirement Changed

AP, June 22, 2005

The speaker of the state House urged the city school district to reconsider what he called an “unnecessary” requirement that high school students take an African-American history course in order to graduate.

“I would like to see them master basic reading, writing and arithmetic,” Speaker John Perzel said in a letter Tuesday to James Nevels, chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.

“Once we have them down pat, I don’t care what they teach. . . They should understand basic American history before we go into African-American history,” he wrote.

Perzel, a Republican, questioned why one ethnic group is singled out in the curriculum. He urged a course of study focusing on “the many cultures” in the district, which is about 67 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic, 14 percent white and 5 percent Asian.

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[Editor’s Note: For more on this story, click here. And see below for relevant contact information.]

Contact Rep. Perzel:

Hon. John Michael Perzel

Main Capitol Building

Room 139

Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020

(717) 787-2016

Fax: (717) 783-7225

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