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.
Contact Rep. Perzel:
Hon. John Michael Perzel
Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020
Fax: (717) 783-7225