For Immediate Release
Contact: Jose Lara (213) 321-5020
Sean Abajian (818) 480-2622
Javier San Roman (714) 606-7280
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 -- Governor Brown just signed AB-2016 Ethnic Studies sponsored by CA Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas). AB-2016 will establish a model ethnic studies curriculum for all schools in the state of California.
This is the first of its kind in the nation, and follows the lead of multiple local districts, including; El Rancho Unified, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and over 25 other local districts who have established, expanded or made ethnic studies a graduation requirement locally.
This is an historic moment for the state of California and was in part due to the work of the statewide advocacy of the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition. Starting with making Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in El Rancho Unified, the first in the state, the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition has been working with multiple districts to bring Ethnic Studies to California Schools.
We have also been working closely with Assemblyman Luis Alejo in advocating for AB-2016.
“We are thankful to have the leadership of Assemblyman Luis Alejo who has been a champion for Ethnic Studies in the state legislature. Without his leadership this bill would have never passed. This is a win for all students in California and recognizes the diversity of today’s students.” -- Jose Lara, Coordinator, Ethnic Studies Now Coalition
This curriculum will be developed with participation from ethnic studies faculty at California universities and public school teachers who have a background in teaching ethnic studies.
AB-2016 directs the IQC to draft and submit a model curriculum to the SBE by June 30, 2019 and the SBE to adopt a model curriculum by Nov. 30, 2019.
Once adopted, school districts and charter schools that don’t already have a standards-based ethnic studies program would be encouraged to offer a course based on the model curriculum to high school students as a social sciences or English language arts elective.
According to a recent research out of Stanford University, student who took Ethnic Studies Courses in San Francisco Unified schools raised their G.P.A. by 1.4 grade points, attendance by 21 percentage points, and credits earned by 23. <http://news.stanford.edu/2016/01/12/ethnic-studies-benefits-011216/>
"To ask a student to study a world in which they cannot see themselves is to relegate them to a blindness of the soul and a crippling of the spirit. A model ethnic studies curriculum is a momentous step towards repairing the breach." -- Javier San Román, Steering Committee Member, Ethnic Studies Now Coalition
ABOUT ETHNIC STUDIES NOW COALITION (ESNC) -- ESNC is an independent, grassroots coalition formed in 2014, which has grown to 20,000+ supporters across California and beyond, including teachers, parents, students, academics, elected officials and non-profits. Using the latest in campaign technology, ESNC supporters have sent thousands of emails and letters and placed thousands of calls to elected officials in support of expanding Ethnic Studies in California. Local chapters of Ethnic Studies Now have sprung up across California helping communities pass resolutions in support of expanding ethnic studies to over 25 California school districts. For more information, visit: www.ethnicstudiesnow.com