Labor History in the Schools Legislative Initiative

Join in the effort to pass legislation implementing the

teaching of labor history in Connecticut public schools

To get involved, contact Steve Kass, Task Force Committee Chair:

Important Event at the State Capital, Hartford

February 24-March 14, 2012 
Committee hearings on proposed legislation; will include testimony about the legislation.  Stay tuned for more info by signing up for our updates, below.
Read the report on the hearing here.

Vision Statement

The history of the American labor movement needs to be taught in every school in this land….America is a living testimonial to what free men and women organized into free democratic trade unions can do to make a better life….we ought to be proud of it.”
~Hubert H. Humphrey,
Vice President 1965-69

Following the lead of the Wisconsin labor history association that organized the passing of the historic Wisconsin legislation in 2009, mandating the teaching of labor history in the public schools (first in the nation), the Greater New Haven Labor History Association (GNHLHA) is introducing the same legislation in Connecticut.

The purpose of the legislation is to get labor's untold story told. According to a poll by the independent Hart research, 54 percent of adults said they know just a little or don’t know much about unions. They said their chief sources of knowledge were personal experience (37 percent), people in unions (26 percent) and the media (25 percent). Significantly, learning in school was not even mentioned.

The implications of these numbers are clear. To a very large degree, Americans are uninformed or misinformed about the labor movement and the role that workers have played, and do play, in our nation’s economic, political and cultural life.

Academic standards and curriculum resources such as textbooks have historically ignored or been deficient in their treatment of workers and the labor movement. Significantly, many teachers want to cover this history in their classrooms, but there are few written curriculum standards by local and state educational institutions to encourage the teaching of this material. Therefore, the GNHLHA proposes legislation that sets standards to teach labor history in the public schools in Connecticut.

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Take Action Now

Sign the online petition here

Wisconsin Leads the Way

The 2009 Wisconsin Legislative Bill contains language requiring instruction in public schools on the history of organized labor and the collective bargaining process.  Contact Steve Kass for more information on this important bill and how it impacts our goals here in Connecticut.

Sound interesting? Learn more...

Why Teach Labor History?
This excellent article by the AFT's James Green, published in the 2008-2009 winter issue of American Educator magazine, makes a strong case for the need to teach labor history, while providing useful additional resources.

American Labor and U.S. History Textbooks: How Labor's Story is Distorted in High School History Textbooks
This article is a feature from the American Labor Studies Center, a definitive online resource for labor history materials for teachers and students.

Greater New Haven Labor History Association  •  267 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06513 • •

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The old office telephone number is no longer operational
Messages left there cannot and will not be retrieved. Please contact the Labor History Association by email.

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