UPDATE: VICTORY!!! ON NOVEMBER 10, 2015 COACHELLA VALLEY USD VOTED 7:0 TO MAKE ETHNIC STUDIES A GRADUATION REQUIREMENT!
Dear School Board Representative, We urge you to support the implementation of Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement at the Coachella Valley Unified School District. As elected officials, you can help maintain our district’s vision by ensuring that our students are prepared to graduate, and attend college, as critical thinkers, with an understanding of various cultural and social issues. The implementation of Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement benefits our students and our school district.
I support AB 101 (Alejo) which would require school districts to provide students with a statewide, approved A-G, ethnic studies curriculum.
California has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the nation. Ethnic minorities account for over 71 percent of the student population, with more than 90 languages spoken in District schools.
Given California’s annual increase in diversity, it is especially important that students build knowledge of the various racial and ethnic groups in our state. Incorporating ethnic studies courses into standard high school curriculum is a means to accomplish this. In doing so, students gain an encompassed outlook on other cultures while learning respect and tolerance. Additionally, it provides students with the opportunity to learn about their respective culture in the context of California’s history.
Developing ethnic studies programs in public high schools is an integral part of cultivating a classroom environment that is accepting of diverse cultures. It is vital for young people to learn about their history, but also important for them to feel like they can change their communities in positive ways. This bill will help close the achievement gap by reducing student truancy, increasing student enrollment, reduce drop-out rates, and better prepare Californian youth to be college prepared and career ready.