Petition to Support Ethnic Studies in SDUSD
We, the undersigned, support the effort to establish a mandatory Ethnic Studies course as a graduation requirement in all high-schools in the San Diego Unified School District, as well as an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee (ESAC) that will aide in the development and implementation of this curriculum.
San Diego is a world-class city that boasts over one hundred spoken languages and a great variety of ethnicities and cultures. Despite this diversity, at the moment there is just 1 Ethnic Studies course offered to the 100,000+ students throughout SDUSD. As over 75% of the students are people of color, it is imperative that the district offer courses that examine and honor the rich histories and lived experiences of our many youth.
In solidarity with California’s push to create a more equal school system, we support AB 101 that will resolve to make ethnic studies courses available to every student. Research has shown that students who have had access to Ethnic Studies courses do better in school and are more likely to go to college. It is important to have courses that speak to students who may feel invisible and marginalized, to inspire and motivate them in their education, so that they learn their own history, engage actively in their own learning, and connect in meaningful ways to the larger community. By providing Ethnic Studies courses in SDUSD, we are creating and expanding a world-class school system rooted in the unique perspectives of students in the San Diego community.
The Ethnic Studies Now Coalition
Why Ethnic Studies?
We, the undersigned, support the effort to construct and implement an ethnic studies class as a high school graduation requirement in the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Sacramento, CA is the 2nd most ethnically diverse city in the United States (US Census Bureau, 2015). Our school district is a beautiful mirror of our population; our students are 37% Hispanic or Latino, 17.4% Asian, 18% African American, 19% white, and 5.3% of students are two or more ethnicities. In our district, residents speak over 44 languages and 38% do not speak English at home (SCUSD, 2015).
We need a high school curriculum that reflects the diversity of all students. Despite our numbers, only 1 out of 13 high schools within our district offers ethnic studies. Because over 80% of our school district populations are students of color, we need to offer a course that includes and investigates these rich histories and lived experiences.
By having an ethnic studies course, our hope is that all students will learn to respect, accept, and love themselves. We want all students to think critically about the importance of their race, ethnicity, location, and identity as it exists in history and in the present. We believe that ethnic studies courses can offer important narratives that are missing from the euro-centric lens that history is often shown through. We want to empower our students to learn more about themselves and their communities, build empathy and unity with other ethnic groups, and push for social justice.
*update* we reached 250 signatures on Sept 17; 500 on Sept 29; 750 on Sept 30; 1000 on Oct 2; 1500 on Oct 18. Our current goal is 2500 signatures.2,420 signatures
ETHNIC STUDIES NOW!
We, the undersigned, support the effort to make the successful completion of an A-G approved Ethnic Studies course a high school graduation requirement in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
According to the data from the California Department of Education, LAUSD only offers Ethnic Studies courses at 19 out of 94 of its senior high schools. Because of this limited access, only 691 out of a total of 152,507 high school students in LAUSD are taking Ethnic Studies courses, despite the fact that over 90% of LAUSD is comprised of students of color whose shared experiences are marginalized and forgotten in the mainstream curriculum.
It is time that all LAUSD students have access to Ethnic Studies courses -- courses that speak to students who have felt invisible and marginalized, to inspire and motivate them in their education, so that they learn their own history, engage actively in their own learning, and connect in meaningful ways to the larger community. Research has shown that a well-developed and well-thought-out Ethnic Studies curriculum has positive academic outcomes for students.