Ethnic Studies Now Available in California Schools
EXCERPT FROM REMEZCLA
In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB-2016 into law. By 2019, all California high school students will have the chance to learn about different cultures.
In some of California’s public schools, ethnic studies have already taken root, and students are already seeing the benefits of courses that more accurately represent them. About three-quarters of California’s students are people of color.
In David Ko’s Washington High classroom – made up of 64 percent Asian, 13 percent Hispanic, 8 percent white, and 5 percent African American students – ethnic studies have helped them look at things through a new viewpoint. Earlier in the year, students discussed whether or not their school – named after George Washington, a slave owner – should change its name.
“Some students got very emotionally charged and moved by it,” Ko told PRI. “We were able to have that discussion and at the end of the class period, no one was calling anyone names, there weren’t grudges held, people didn’t throw any punches.”
A Stanford University study found that:
Ethnic studies benefit students. They miss fewer days at school, they get better grades, and even graduate at higher rates. This is especially true in Latino and male students.
“We want ethnic studies implemented throughout all the schools and we want it for high school as a graduation requirement,” Oscar Martinez, a seventh-grader at Spurgeon Intermediate [in Santa Ana, CA] told OC Weekly.
“I’m pretty interested in every ethnicity, I want to learn about all their backgrounds.”
“It is the biggest piece of ethnic studies legislation passed in this country’s history,” Nolan Cabrera, an education professor at the University of Arizona told the Huffington Post. “This is looking very promising not just for students in California, but for those in the rest of the country as this becomes a more accepted educational practice.”
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Headline picture via EAGNews.org