California’s State Board of Education yesterday unanimously approved a model curriculum of coursework in K-12 schools to guide how the histories, struggles and contributions of Black, Asian, Latino and Native Americans — and the racism and marginalization they have experienced in the United States — will be taught to millions of students, according to latimes.com.
Across the nation, so far Oregon and Vermont are the only two states to require ethnic studies classes be taken by its students. A bill in California to make a high school ethnic studies course a graduation requirement is currently making its way through the Legislature.
To quote the latimes.com article:
Although criticism still emerged Thursday, the curriculum approval culminates two years of difficult discussions, protests and rewrites over which groups should be included and how their stories should be presented. Drafts were alternately pilloried for being left-wing propaganda or capitulating to right-wing agendas, and defended as providing an essential means for students of color to see themselves reflected in public school curriculum. It comes at a time when educators are seeking concrete lessons and strategies to address racism.
“The passion that we hear about this topic illustrates why ethnic studies is so important,” board president Linda Darling-Hammond said after nearly eight hours of presentations and discussion. “Much of it is a quest by each person or each group for a sense of belonging and acknowledgement.”
“Ethnic studies demands that we understand the forces that stand in the way of our shared humanity so that we can address them,” she said. “We need the more complete study of our history that ethnic studies provides and the attention to inequality that it stimulates.”
For now, the model curriculum serves as a guide for school districts that want the option to offer ethnic studies. But its lessons stand to become a flashpoint for debate again in the months ahead, as a bill to make a high school ethnic studies course a graduation requirement — believed to be the most far-reaching law of its kind nationally — makes its way through the Legislature.
The final vote came four years, four drafts and 100,000 public comments after state law mandated that educators create a model studies ethnic studies curriculum.
To read more: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-03-18/ethnic-studies-finally-approved-california-schools
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