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Students are filing a bill to make U.S. history courses mandatory

The president of the Chamber of Representatives, Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez Núñez, along with the represent José Aponte Hernández announced the filing of a measure that seeks to instruct the Department of Education to design and integrate, in the general curriculum of the higher schools of vocational, the requirement’s academic History, including courses on the History of the united States, and an elective course related to the Program of Social Studies-History in order to complete one academic credit per year.

The initiative, the House 2134 project, has its genesis in an application made by ninth and tenth grade students attached to the Ana Delia Flores Santana Vocational School in the municipality of Fajardo, as well as their teacher, the teacher of Social Studies Iliana Díaz.

The piece of legislation was established by the direct petition mechanism of the students, seeking to add a new article, 9.09, to law 85-2018, better known as the ” Puerto Rico Education Reform Act.”

As described in the motif of the measure, “education on social studies, of high school students, including those attending vocational schools, or magneto schools in their modern nomenclature, cannot be limited to the social and historical environments of the Puerto Rican archipelago. This is clearly important, but it is not the only frame of reference that a human being should have in the modern world. Therefore, a look to detain the said Law 85, evidence that it does not contemplate the offering of the core coursework of the Program of Study Social, which limits the effective training of students of vocational schools. This, in turn, causes them not to effectively develop a more complete and successful vision when competing in a globalized economy.”

“For decades, students participating in the programs of Puerto Rican public vocational schools have seen limitations on their educational burden in terms of the Social-History Curriculum. This is because the Circular Letter Number 12-2014-2015 set in the curriculum of the students of vocational schools, only the class of History of Puerto Rico, as a requirement for graduation to higher level. This restriction limits the knowledge of these students, compared to other young graduates of other educational programs and institutions that exist in our archipelago. In this way, systemically, there has been a lag in the knowledge acquired by students of vocational schools on specific topics such as the history of the United States, Sociology, Economics, Labor-employer relations, etc.” the explanatory statement adds.

“But this historical error can be corrected with relative ease: an amendment to educational reform is needed that, in a compulsory way, requires the U.S. history courses, Sociology, Economics, Labor-Management Relations, electoral processes and others, of the Social-History Studies Program, so that there is a more diverse and complete frame of reference for students in our vocational schools. In this way, graduates will be able to have a clearer and more balanced view of what they will find in the world of work, once they complete their secondary education.”

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