Memo: African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino Curriculum and Course Update

Dr. Miguel A. Cardona, Commissioner of Education
Ingrid M. Canady, Executive Director, SERC

Date: November 2, 2020

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the State Education Resource Center (SERC) are excited to share the following updates regarding the African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino course.

In accordance with Public Act 19-12: An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Black and Latino Studies in the Public School Curriculum, SERC and the CSDE have been developing the mandated one-credit, year-long high school elective course and curriculum in collaboration with: nine advisory committees; an expert review panel, and a 150-member advisory group representing racially and culturally diverse historians, scholars, high school educators, educational organizations, community and museum representatives, parents, students, and advocates.

SERC has created the Public Act 19-12: An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Black and Latino Studies in the Public School Curriculum Website to update the educational community on the process and progress of curriculum development, to include DRAFT course description and DRAFT learning objectives.

The draft African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino curriculum will be presented to the State Board of Education (Board) on December 2, 2020, for review and approval.

The CSDE and SERC are offering the following informational Webinars to provide schools and districts an overview of the curriculum and opportunity for questions:

  • Monday, November 9, 2020, from 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. (registration closed);
  • Monday, November 9, 2020, from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (registration closed);
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020, from 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.(Register Here);
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020, from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (Register Here).

Questions regarding sessions can be directed to Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, SERC Consultant, at

For specific questions related to the African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino curriculum and course, please contact the Director of Equity and Language, CSDE, Dr. Gladys Labas at

Download a PDF of this Memo


A Conference of the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (ASCH)
A Virtual Event to be Held on Saturday, November 14

The Association for the Study of Connecticut History is sponsoring an online conference on “Black Lives Matter in Historical Perspective,” on Saturday, November 14 from 9:00 AM-12:15 PM. 

SERC consultant Paquita Jarman-Smith will be featured in a panel discussion titled: “Teaching Black History In The University And Secondary School Classroom”

Registration is free. For more information, visit:

Expert Review Panel members announced

The Expert Review Panel is a combination of national and state level experts and researchers whose purpose is to review course deliverables as they are being developed, and provide critical feedback and relevant resources to the SERC Team in a timely manner.  We are honored to be working with such a prestigious group and look forward to their public endorsement of curriculum.

Confirmed members of the Expert Review Panel (as of August 20, 2020) are:

George Coleman, Chair, SERC Board of Directors; Former Interim Commissioner of Education

Dr. Terrell Hill, Founder/President, Black Leaders and Adm. Consortium (BLAC); Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Windsor Public Schools

Dr. Jason Irizarry, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UCONN; Author, The Latinization of U.S. Schools

Sandra Lamb, Co-Founder/Director, The Institute of Black Invention and Technology, Inc.

Ana Ortiz, President, Association of Latino Admin. and Supt. (ALAS); Retired Superintendent, Oxford

Dr. Paul Ortiz, Professor of History, University of Florida; Author, An African American and Latinx History of the United States

Dr. Raquel Ortiz, Curriculum Developer, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Cultural Ambassador Program

Glenn Singleton, Founder/President, Pacific Educational Group (PEG); Author, Courageous Conversations About Race

Dr. Blanca Silvestrini, Professor Emerita of History, University of Connecticut

Stefanie Wager, President, National Council for Social Studies; Consultant, Iowa State Department of Education

“Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2019) (a) For the school year commencing July 1, 2021, and each school year thereafter, each local and regional board of education shall include African-American and black studies and Puerto Rican and Latino studies as part of the curriculum for the school district, pursuant to section 10-16b of the general statutes, as amended by this act.”

Connecticut PA 19-12

The Connecticut Black and Latino Studies Curriculum becomes available in: