We ask that you please sign your name, below, in support of ESN’s recommendations to the CA State Board of Education (SBE) for the new CA History-Social Science Framework’s (HSSFW) Ethnic Studies elective course. The SBE’s next meeting is scheduled to be the last time to make any changes to this framework for at least another 8 years!
How can a general ES course description not have any mention of students learning about their ancestral roots, or about colonialism, or about self-determination for that matter? Community cultural wealth? Please see our recommended line edits to the SBE that will ensure that these main concepts are not left out.
Today, please sign and spread the word! This will only take a moment and with your support, we can affect the HSSFW’s official description of Ethnic Studies, and help make it more genuine, critical, and transformational for thousands of students across California – it is what they deserve. Please Sign and spread the word!881 signatures
~~ETHNIC STUDIES NOW COALITION: IMPERATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS TO CA SBE FOR CA HSSFW~~
1. Our first recommendation is for Chapter 14, p.425, line 648, to explicitly include four core concepts and academic language of Ethnic Studies, after "...a more complex understanding of the human experience". ADDITION: "This understanding relates to student knowledge of the concepts of indigeneity, colonialism, cultural hegemony, and self-determination, as they have occurred throughout history and today”.
2. Our second recommendation is that these concepts be explicitly culturally relevant and responsive to students in Chapter 14, p.426, line 675, after "co-investigators in the inquiry process". ADDITION: "This reflection of instructors and students' own personal histories should be considerate of how the concepts of indigeneity, colonialism, cultural hegemony, and community cultural wealth, relate to their own ancestral legacies as historically situated human beings".
3. Our third recommendation, is to respect the Ethnic Studies tradition of explicitly acknowledging the Indigenous peoples of the land where any course is taking place. We recommend adding a sentence in Chapter 14, p.427, line 692, before the following sentence: “Students can investigate the history of the experience of various ethnic groups within the United States...”. ADDITION: “In studying various ethnic groups, the Indigenous peoples of any area under academic investigation and of any land where a course is taking place (e.g. Miwok in Sacramento, Chumash in Santa Barbara, Kumeyaay in San Diego), are respectfully acknowledged as the original peoples of the community”.
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.