Texas SBOE Takes Positive Step Forward on Ethnic Studies

African American Studies Moves Closer to Adoption as State’s Second Ethnic Studies Course

January 31, 2020

AUSTIN – The State Board of Education’s approval on first reading of curriculum standards for African American Studies is a positive step forward in creating the second ethnic studies course for Texas public schools, Texas Freedom Network Political Director Carisa Lopez said today.

“Today’s action is a recognition of the importance of teaching about the experiences and contributions of African Americans and other people of color in our nation’s history and rich cultural mosaic,” Lopez said. “Research shows that ethnic studies courses improve students’ academic performance and engage students of color by helping them see people like themselves in our state and nation’s history. We encourage the state board to finish the job and give final approval to this course at its next meeting.”

Today’s action comes after the board adopted a Mexican American Studies course in 2018. In voting for the Mexican American Studies course, the board opened the door to the creation of other ethnic studies classes that districts could choose to offer as elective courses for high school students. Scholars and advocates have been working with state board members since then to create an African American Studies course.

The board is set to take a final vote on the course in April.


The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.