Tony Thurmond Announces Revision Plan for Ethnic Studies Curriculum

The California Department of Education (CDE) has a plan to overhaul the draft ethnic studies model curriculum that caused an uproar with numerous political, ethnic, and religious groups.

On Monday, the CDE and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said it would consult with experts on the next iteration. It will be brought back for approval from the State Board of Education in 2020.

Here is the press release:

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) has outlined a path to revise and improve the ethnic studies model curriculum draft.

The next step in the process is for the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to meet regarding the draft on Friday, September 20.The CDE is recommending that the IQC pause any action on the draft, take more time to revise the draft, and ultimately send it to the State Board of Education (SBE) for action in 2020.

Last week the California State Legislature approved AB 114, extending the timeline for completion of the ethnic studies model curriculum draft through March 2021. The bill now awaits Governor Newsom’s signature. If the IQC acts to extend the timeline for completing the draft, the CDE anticipates taking the following steps:

• Holding feedback sessions with ethnic studies teachers, ethnologists, experts, and interested parties to get input on what might go into the draft.
• Consulting with ethnic studies experts on what might go into the draft including convening a panel discussion of experts.
• Holding listening sessions around the state to hear from the approximately 200 districts that have successfully implemented ethnic studies curriculums.

Dr. Shirley Weber, Assemblymember and IQC member, has agreed to serve on the ethnic studies panel and consult with the CDE and SBE staff to complete the model draft curriculum. Weber is a 40-year educator of Africana Studies who has helped establish ethnic studies in K–12 curriculum throughout the State of California.

To send suggestions for revisions to the curriculum, email ethnicstudies@cde.ca.gov. More information about the ethnic studies model curriculum can be found on the CDE Model Curriculum Projects web page.


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