COACHELLA VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Resolution No. ______: 2015/2016
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement
Whereas, the Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities to all students, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, income, nationality, or disability; and is guided by the core values of equity, inclusiveness, and universal high expectations in building critically conscious global citizens; and
Whereas, CVUSD seeks to provide and foster an exceptional education that emphasizes, exposes, and enriches the students’ understanding of the positive contributions made by a variety of cultures and races to the history of our nation, and that helps our students understand and appreciate the rich histories and cultural contributions of their own communities to this precious history; and
Whereas, CVUSD acknowledges the importance of social justice, educational justice, and equity within the community and in every student’s education; and
Whereas, the Coachella Valley is home to rich and diverse cultural history, and is part of a much larger culturally diverse region, state, and nation; and
Whereas, ethnic studies curriculum and pedagogy is demonstrably meaningful, transformative, and critical to increasing the academic success of students of color and enabling all students, students of color in particular, to draw from their own experiences; and
Whereas, Ethnic Studies and Ethnic Studies Programs elsewhere have helped close the achievement gap, reduced drop-out rates, increased graduation rates, increased college-going rates, and has built academic and social resiliency for future success; and
Whereas, local students, parents, teachers, administrators, community organizations, community businesses, community churches or religious affiliates, members of local government, professors, and university organizations broadly and strongly support the implementation of ethnic studies curriculum in the CVUSD;
Whereas, California Teachers Association (CTA) passed a motion in October of 2014, stating “CTA supports the efforts that all CA school districts and locals in making Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement, so that all students have an opportunity to learn about our cultural diversity and history”; and
Whereas, CVUSD and CTA support Assembly Bill 101 (Alejo-D-30) (Pupil instruction for “Ethnic Studies” graduation) currently pending in the California Legislature; and
Whereas, CVUSD strives to educate students and to assist them in realizing their full potential as responsible, productive, contributing members of society by providing an educational environment in which students are challenged, excellence is expected and differences are valued.”; and
Whereas, the Los Angeles Unified School District, El Rancho Unified School District, and San Francisco Unified School District have all made Ethnic Studies coursework a requirement for graduation;
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that CVUSD shall modify its existing graduation requirements to include a year-long Ethnic Studies course of 10 units.
Be It Further Resolved, that the Graduating Class of 2020 and all subsequent classes shall be required to complete a 10 Unit Ethnic Studies course.
Be It Further Resolved, that the Ethnic Studies course shall be developed to be aligned to the current educational standards of common core, and shall be an A-G approved course.
Be It Further Resolved, that the CVUSD Governing Board of Education directs an Ethnic Studies Committee to be comprised of Administrators, Teachers, Students, Parents, and Community Members to develop curriculum and implementation strategies that include professional development to ensure the quality of the Ethnic Studies course aligns to agreement of the resolution through partnerships with universities and ethnic studies and/or culturally relevant programs. The Committee shall include in its initial membership the teachers who were involved creating this Resolution.
Be it Further Resolved, that the selection process for the Ethnic Studies Committee, which will build curriculum and implementation protocols, shall include teachers who constructed this resolution.
Be It Further Resolved, that CVUSD Governing Board of Education shall rigorously recruit and retain teachers who have relevant education background and experience in the study and/or teaching of Ethnic Studies and/or similar fields of study (i.e. Chicana/o Studies, Latin American Studies, African-American Studies, Native- American Studies). The Ethnic Studies Committee will be involved in the hiring of Ethnic Studies teachers.
Finally, Be It Resolved, that the funding for this program and each of its elements shall be incorporated into the budget and LCAP for the 2016-17 school year, and every year thereafter until fully implemented.