Jonathan Higgins signed PETITION AB 2016 Ethnic Studies 2016-06-24 11:52:19 -0700
PETITION AB 2016 Ethnic Studies
*** UPDATE *** AB 2016 was signed into law on September 13, 2016 by Governor Brown! Click here to download the full text of the law ---> DOWNLOAD
I support AB 2016, which instructs the Superintendent to establish a model curriculum for Ethnic Studies beginning the school year of 2017-18. Beginning with the school year after the development of the model curriculum, each school district with grade 9-12 will be required to offer the class to their students as an elective for social science.
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 the state’s school districts
Given California’s annual increase in population 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 all 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.