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.
ETHNIC STUDIES NOW VENTURA COUNTY!
We, the undersigned, support the creation of an A-G approved Ethnic Studies course as a high school graduation requirement in each of the school districts in Ventura County.
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.
Using demographic data provided for the Oxnard Union High School District 2012 – 2013 School Accountability Report Card, on average, Chicana/o-Latina/o students comprise over 75% of the all the high schools in the Oxnard Union High School District. These numbers are an example of the diversity that is present county-wide.
Currently, there are no formally established Ethnic Studies programs, in which all students have access, in any high school district in Ventura County. 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 Ventura County 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 High School District. Ventura County has the opportunity to be at the forefront of this state-wide educational movement.