Through our online petition, we call on decision-makers to revise the New York State High School Curriculum to include rich and intersectional material on women and gender.

New York State has a problem

As of the 2017/2018 school year, there are a total of 10 references to women and gender in New York State’s High School Social Studies Curriculum. In eight out of these 10 cases “women” appears on a list with other groups following phrases like “diverse groups” and “such as” or “including.” Here are all the references to women for the entire four years:

  • Once in the 9th Grade Global History Sequence
  • Twice in 10th Grade Global History Sequence
  • Seven times in the 11th Grade US History sequence. As of 2017, only 1% of the questions on the US History Regents Examination address women at all.
  • Zero times in the 12 Grade courses on Participation in Government and Civics and Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance.

SOURCE: Status of Women in State Social Studies Standards, pp. 163-171.


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We propose a solution.

  • Re-write the NYS Social Studies Standards, grades 9-12 to include rich material that addresses women’s experience, the accomplishments of individual women and questions of gender throughout the year.
  • Add a criterion under Social Studies Practices, grades 9-12 – Civic Practices that includes “developing awareness of gender equity and its complex history.”
  • Add “Read for underlying gender, racial or other bias” to the NYS Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, grades 6-12 under “Key Ideas and Details.”

We petition decision-makers.

Petition on Change.org to Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and New York State Education Department, The Board of Regents, New York State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Brian Benjamin, Liz Krueger

We offer a model for national change.

Gone are the days of “color-blind” and “gender-blind” classrooms. By ignoring the power dynamics of the past, classrooms perpetuate them. Students all over America deserve to learn about women. Not only does this campaign promote awareness of the lack of women’s voices in classrooms, it provides students and teachers with meaningful action steps they can take to work for change.

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