California Puts High School Ethnic Studies Officially on the Books - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

California Puts High School Ethnic Studies Officially on the Books

by Jamal Eric Watson

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will now mandate the teaching of ethnic studies in every public high school across the state.

091616_ethnic_studiesThe legislation AB-2016, authored by Assemblymember Luis Alejo, D-Salinas Valley, requires that the state’s Instructional Quality Commission develop a curriculum in ethnic studies. The bill will become effective in the 2020-21 school year.

Alejo, who is chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, said that the curriculum will teach about the historic contributions and struggles of Asian Americans, African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities in the United States.

“AB-2016 will give California public high school districts and charter schools a comprehensive ethnic studies curriculum that will be available to all students as an elective,” said Alejo. “The development of a comprehensive ethnic studies curriculum acknowledges the diversity of California, which has the most ethnically diverse public school student body in the nation. After recent studies, we now have conclusive evidence that ethnic studies courses have helped students of color remain academically engaged and have improved test scores and graduation rates.”

Civil rights advocates have praised Brown’s decision to sign the legislation into law.

“The passing of this bill is historic,” said the Rev. Shane Harris, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network. “It is the first of its kind in the nation where now there is a plan and process coming forth for ethnic studies in grades 7 to 12. This is important because it offers a fairer and more equal education to students in grade schools across the state of California and mandates districts across the state of California to institute some kind of plan for ethnic studies. This is a win-win for minority students across the nation.”

Jamal Eric Watson can be reached at jwatson1@diverseeducation.com. You can follow him on Twitter @jamalericwatson.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
AAC&U Encourages U.S. Institutions to Promote National Day of Racial Healing The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) asks U.S. colleges and universities to engage in activities, events or strategies that encourage healing and create engagement around racism, bias, inequity and injustice in American S...
A Revived “North Star” Emerges “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.” Abolitionist journalist and orator Frederick Douglass spoke those profound words as part of his iconic “West India Emancipation”...
Don’t Wait – Meditate If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you or someone you know struggles with anxiety. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 40 million adults age 18 and older suffer from an anxiety disorder. At 18 percent of...
UDC Names New Dean of David A. Clarke School of Law The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) has named public interest lawyer Renée McDonald Hutchins as the next dean of the university’s David A. Clarke School of Law, also known as UDC Law. Renée McDonald Hutchins UDC Law is the only pu...
Semantic Tags: