California becomes 1st state to make ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement – Fresno, California

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Fresno, California 2021-10-09 04:23:49 –

San Francisco-In addition to English, science, mathematics, and other graduation requirements, California high school students are required to take a course of ethnic studies in order to obtain a diploma in 2029-30.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill on Friday. This makes California the first law in the country to list ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high school students.

Riverside Democrat Jose Medina, who drafted the legislation over the years, called it a major step for California.

“It’s been waiting for a long time,” Medina said. “I think schools are now ready to develop a curriculum that is fairer and reflects social justice.”

The new law requires all public schools in the state to offer at least one ethnic studies course starting in grade 2025-26, and students graduating in grades 2029-30 will be offered a one-semester course in this subject. It is obligatory to complete.

The Ethnographic Movement has roots in California, and students protested at San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley in the late 1960s to demand courses in African-American, Chicano, Asian-American, and Native American studies. bottom.

Earlier this year, the state school board approved a model ethnic research curriculum that offered dozens of proposed lessons and educational approaches. The curriculum is not required, but the school can be used as a guide to choose from lesson plans or design your own.

The curriculum went through several drafts over a three-year period and was the subject of intense debate before it was approved in March.

The model curriculum focuses on four historically estranged groups that are central to university-level ethnic studies: African Americans, Chicano and other Latin Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and indigenous peoples. I’m guessing. It also includes lesson plans for Jews, Arab-Americans, Seek-Americans, and Armenian-Americans who are not traditionally part of the ethnic research curriculum. Those groups were added after opposition to the previous draft that excluded them.

The new law adds the completion of ethnic studies courses to other standard graduation requirements, including three years of English and social studies, two years of mathematics and science, among others. It gives a few years delay so that the school is ready.

“Schools don’t just have to switch on and get ready. This gives the school district enough time to implement the curriculum and hire qualified teachers to teach these classes,” Medina said. Mr. says.

Some of California’s largest school districts are ahead of their time.

The state’s largest unified school district in Los Angeles voted last year to require a course of ethnic studies as a graduation requirement by the 2023-24 school year. Last year, the Fresno Unified Board of Education resolved to require students entering high school this year to study ethnic studies for the second semester.

In San Francisco, where high schools have offered ethnic studies as an elective since 2015, students are required to take the second semester of an ethnic studies course in order to graduate from 2028.

Other states take different approaches. Oregon is developing ethnic research standards for the social studies curriculum, and starting this year, curriculum courses from kindergarten to high school will be required. Last year, Connecticut approved a law requiring all high schools to offer courses in black and Latino studies by the fall of 2022.

Another bill signed by Newsom on Friday offered middle and high school health education courses, including mental health instruction, to help students identify common mental health problems and find out how to get help. Requesting.

Educators say it’s appropriate that California has taken the lead in ethnic research law and has been postponed for a long time. More than three-quarters of California’s 6 million public school students are not white.

Medina first introduced his measures in 2019, but it was put off in discussions about the model curriculum. Newsom rejected the previous version, stating that the curriculum needed revision and should be implemented before the state demanded ethnic studies.

Public Education Supervisor Tony Thurmond praised the Ethnic Studies Act as a way to help color students learn about their history, making sure that it reflects what they have learned.

Medina said the widespread American debate about race and racism has made such a curriculum more important than ever since the killing of George Floyd last year.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

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