PETITION TO IMPLEMENT ETHNIC STUDIES IN SANTA ANA
We, the undersigned, support the effort to construct and implement an ethnic studies program that extends to all schools K-12, an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement, and the planning of an ethnic studies summer institute where teachers can engage in pedagogy and curriculum that is culturally relevant and responsive to the Santa Ana community.
Santa Ana is rich in diversity, with cultural roots from places like Cambodia, Vietnam, Samoa, Central America, and one of the largest Mexican American populations outside of Mexico, yet the majority of our students’ histories and cultures have been pushed out of the curriculum. We have a diversity of people that are Asian American, African American, American Indian, Chicanx/Latinx, and White, yet much of the curriculum has remained eurocentric. We want a curriculum that reflects the diversity and linguistic legacy of our students.
Through ethnic studies, we want a curriculum that will teach tolerance, respect, and, most importantly, love and appreciation for the various cultures and histories of our diverse population. To quote the Common Core English/Language Arts Framework, “With over sixty languages other than English spoken by California’s students. . .[the] state of California recognizes its deep responsibility to ensure that each and every student receives a world class 21st century education. . .[and] to discuss all aspects of California’s diverse student population.” We need to investigate the rich histories and lived experiences of the people that make up the city of Santa Ana, California, and the totality of this great nation. We need classes that reduce student truancy and dropout rates, increase restorative practices and student enrollment, and better prepare California youth to be college and career-ready. Most importantly, we want ethnic studies to empower students to transform themselves and their communities in positive ways.
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.
*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.