“This report reflects the work of a task force charged with examining curricular materials used by the New York State Department of Education to see if they adequately reflect the pluralistic nature of society, and to identify areas where changes or additions may be needed. The Task Force concluded that African American, Asian American, Puerto Ricans/Latinos, and Native Americans have been victims of curricular materials that negatively characterized or omitted the contributions of these groups to U.S. society and culture, and demonstrated a systematic bias factoring European culture and its derivatives.  After highlighting some of the contributions to U.S. society by non-European cultures, the report documents how these contributions have been systematically distorted, marginalized, or omitted.  The report goes on to identify some curricular materials that are of high quality, indicating that some progress has been made.  Because the entire structure of the curriculum is shown to be flawed, an alternative conceptual approach is presented.  The Task Force promotes the idea that all curricular materials be prepared on the basis of multicultural contributions to the development of all aspects of U.S. society.  Such a balanced, integrated approach is seen as serving the interests of children from all cultures.  Children from Native American, Puerto Rican/Latino, Asian American, and African-American cultures will have higher self-esteem and self-respect, while children from European cultures will have a less arrogant perspective of being part of the group that has “done it all.”  The Task Force makes nine recommendations to accomplish what it sees as necessary reforms in New York State’s curriculum, ranging from a revision of many curricular materials to a revision of teacher education and school administrator programs.  Several appendices are included, featuring those that review the New York Sate curricular materials K-12 from the perspective of African American culture, Asian American culture, Latino culture and Native American culture.”


(The report of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Minorities: Equities and Excellence (published July, 1989), was taken from an “online” abstract.)


           Dr. James Strauss, Professor Emeritus

Lincoln Christian Seminary

Lincoln, IL 62656