It's time to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in every school district! Here's a toolkit of resources you can use that were helpful in the campaigns to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in El Rancho USD (1st in California to do so) and L.A. Unified which is the 2nd largest school district in the United States. More resources will be added:
- El Rancho USD Resolution --> download
- LAUSD Ethnic Studies resolution as adopted November 18, 2014 --> download
- Past LAUSD resolution in support of AZ Mexican American Studies --> download
- Past SFUSD resolution to support the development of a 9th grade Ethnic Studies course --> download
- SMMUSD documents from 2013 --> LINK
- NEA/Sleeter Research Review of Ethnic Studies --> download
- 2013__Sleeter__Ethnic_Studies_Oxford --> download
- List of approved LAUSD A-G Ethnic Studies Classes --> download
- Data on Ethnic Studies from CDE --> download
- Resolution passed at CTA in support of Ethnic Studies --> download (official version to be posted)
- LA Times OpEd on Ethnic Studies Good for California --> link
- LA Times coverage of El Rancho USD --> link
- Student Testimonies, e.g. student speakers to school board --> Link
- Amicus brief prepared by the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) for the Tucson Unified School District lawsuit Acosta v Huppenthal --> download
- FULL TEXT of AB 2016 as signed into law 9-13-16 --> download
If there's a document you think would be helpful to add, please post it as a comment. Thanks!
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Ethnic Studies Now principles, documents, and leaders. http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/ethnic-studies-k12-curr
By Jim Estrada, Author of The ABCs and Ñ of America’s Cultural Evolution
Our nation is undergoing a cultural evolution as a result of its ethnic population explosion. In a blink of the eye, Hispanics, Latinos, and mestizos have grown to 54 million in 2015 and are projected to reach 132.8 million by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Much of this growth will come from natural childbirth among U.S. citizens, not immigration.
But what do we know about our nation’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic neighbors? Simply stated, very little!
We have a substantial information gap in the USA’s educational curricula regarding our nation’s non-white European populations. However, the sharing of accurate unbiased information about them, their histories, and their contributions to our nation can lead to a better understanding of their growing influence and contributions as the fastest growing consumers, K-12 students, taxpayers, voters, and members of the workforce. Plus, they are already the “majority” of the population in many urban areas and states.
To effectively interact with these growing ethnic/racial groups, mainstream society must become better informed of their histories, cultures, and contributions to our nation. Already, U.S. Spanish-language media has recognized the void in positive programming and news coverage about the Latino ethnic segment of society and is filling that need. In a world of increasingly diverse information sources and content, Spanish-language media is demonstrating that cultural competency works, and that it is profitable.
A question for many non-Spanish speaking professionals is, “Do you possess the necessary skills to deal with the growth of this ethnic population? Is the traditional white-Eurocentric ‘one size fits all’ approach still optimal?” If the answer is no, then the next question must be asked,“Are educational systems, companies, government, and non-profit organizations prepared to invest in preparing experts who can provide them with culturally relevant professionals?”
There are many thoughts on how to create cultural awareness. The logical place to start is in our schools, which are charged with expanding the knowledge base that affects our personal and marketplace missions, goals, and objectives. The most successful retail companies and public service delivery institutions must have culturally competent, educated individuals when selecting employees to manage “ethnic” outreach initiatives.
Due to changing demographics, employers are increasingly relying on employees who demonstrate knowledge of their targeted consumers and who possess the cultural proficiency to manage new product development, communications, and outreach initiatives as part of an organization’s integrated operational and marketing efforts. Having culturally competent “aces in all the right places” ensures profits, effectiveness, and sustainability in an increasingly diverse and competitive marketplace.
Ethnic studies are very important to members of these fast growing ethnic and racial segments of our country’s population for a variety of obvious reasons, but they are equally (if not more) important to non-ethnic professionals who must become culturally aware of those who are affecting their professions and careers—as well as related revenue streams. Our nation’s educational institutions must address this critical need for preparing tomorrow’s citizens, for especially in the marketplace and workplace “adapt or perish” remains nature’s inexorable imperative.