Ethnic Studies Courses Added To Curriculum

High school students will soon learn more about ethnicity, race, intersectionality, and power, as ethnic studies will be part of the curriculum beginning in 2020.

Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB-2016, by Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D-Salinas), which will develop an ethnic studies program for public schools in the state by 2019.

PRI notes that three similar bills failed previously due to insufficient funds and concerns about excessive rules and regulations.

Over the next two years a committee composed by teachers, professors, students, and community members will develop the curriculum that will be implemented.

The committee is planning to make the curriculum flexible enough where districts can tailor the classes to the needs of the community.

Eight years ago, San Francisco Unified began an ethnic studies pilot program at George Washington HS which has expanded to almost 19 high schools in the district within the last two years.

20 school districts across the state have implemented ethnic studies courses or expect to add them soon.

While controversies have arisen over the implementation of ethnic studies courses such as criticism for promoting resentment towards groups, Arizona banned the program in 2010, and Texas rejected a Mexican American studies textbook; Stanford University released a study earlier this year that highlights the long-term benefits that ethnic studies programs have on students.

California is attempting to pave the way for a better understanding of race and intersectionality and how it affects society.

Read more at PRI.