Juan Ayala signed Santa Barbara USD 2016-08-21 21:34:36 -0700The fundamental principles and ideals that the United Ststes of America was intended to uphold are “Life, Liberty, Equality, Justice, for ALL.” Education needs to prepare students to live as responsible, contributing, creative members of communities where such fundamental principles and ideals are actual daily living experiences “for ALL.” Preparing students to become merely “human resources” destined for the “labor market” is nothing more than slave training — not Education.
Given the complexity of social, cultural, economic. and environmental problems and conflicts presently afflicting ALL of humanity and ALL other forms of Life on Earth, Ethnic Students can serve as part of the foundation required to develop Ecollogical Consciousness and Ecological Literacy — awareness and understanding of the essential fact of Life, that the “Web of Life” is a complex network of relationships among and between all members of humanity and all other species, all forms of Life, and all life-support systems that constitute Planet Earth’s natural environment and maintain Natural Reality and Life on Earth.
Without self and mutual understanding, the Empire of Ignorance and its minions, Fear, Greed, Selfishness, Corruption, Addiction to “wealth” and “power,” and all of its inventions and mass-productions, the stupidities of Violence and endless WAR, POLLUTION, and all associated biological, psychological, cultural, social, economic, and environmental deterioration and degeneration will continue multiplying as the cancerous cells of the “dominant culture” and its so-called “law and order” and “justice system,” which is nothing less than criminal, as it “protects and serves” the “national interests” and PROFITS of “the 1%,” — MONEY and “property” — not “Life, Liberty, Equality,” or “Justice for ALL.”731 signatures
We, the undersigned, support the creation of an A-G approved Ethnic Studies course as a high school graduation requirement in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Ethnic Studies benefits all students by providing a complex, rich, and critical history of the United States. Given the multitude of issues facing our county, it is important to prepare our students to be global citizens with the knowledge of and the appreciation for the contributions of multiple cultures and histories.
Currently, there are no formally established Ethnic Studies programs, in which all students have access, in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, despite the fact that the majority of students are students of color. Research demonstrates that Ethnic Studies curriculum can help close the achievement gap, reduce student truancy, increase student enrollment, reduce drop-out rates, and increase graduation rates. Further, we advocate for the establishment of Ethnic Studies curriculum at all levels, high school, secondary, and elementary.
It is time that all Santa Barbara Unified School District students have access to Ethnic Studies courses -- courses that inspire and motivate young people to connect in meaningful ways to the larger community. Several high school districts throughout the state are implementing Ethnic Studies programs, including the largest district in CA, Los Angeles Unified School District.