YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 29

Pupil Instruction: Ethnic Studies in California Origin: California State Legislature Bill Name/Number: AB-101 Link: Click here YEO Sponsor: Assemblyman Luis Alejo Summary: Introduced and passed out of the state legislature in 2015, this bill would create a model ethnic studies curriculum for optional use statewide, handing a major victory to educators and advocates who say that ethnic studies curricula will help boost achievement and academic empowerment among students of color. Talking Points & Important Information: • With an increasingly diverse population nationwide, a K-12 Ethnic Studies curriculum “is extremely important for the development of students’ identities” so that “[they] can critically understand the world they live in, develop the skills to solve the problems of the communities they live in,” and access an “education that is relevant and responsive to [students’] needs.” • Historically, Ethnic Studies emerged from social movements in the 1960s as students, educators, and scholars of color pressed school districts, universities, and textbook companies to produce and offer curricula that reflect the diversity and complexity of the United States population. In line with movements of the time, particularly the civil rights movements in the United States and liberation movements in the Third World, the push for an anti-racist, multicultural curricular reform was guided by a demand for the inclusion of histories and paradigms focused on the evolving issues of race, cultural, power, and identity. • The educational purpose of Ethnic Studies is three-fold: 1) to provide students with opportunities to receive quality education and urge educational institutions to open their doors to more students of color; 2) to define “quality education” as one that is relevant and directly connected to the marginalized experiences of students of color; and 3) to serve as a bridge between formal educational spaces to community involvement, advocacy, organizing, and activism. • Our partners at the National Education Association pulled together this report on the academic and social value of Ethnic Studies. 2015 POLICY BOOK STATE INTRO LEVEL PAGE 29