AB 101, Alejo. Pupil instruction: ethnic studies.
Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to include, among other subjects, the social sciences. Existing law requires the State Board of Education, with the assistance of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to establish a list of textbooks and other instructional materials that highlight the contributions of minorities in the development of California and the United States.
This bill would require the Superintendent to oversee the development of, and the state board to adopt, a model curriculum to ensure quality courses in ethnic studies. The bill would require the Superintendent to establish an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee and would require the committee to advise, assist, and make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the development of the model curriculum. The bill would, beginning the school year following the adoption of the model curriculum, authorize each school district maintaining any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to offer, as an elective in the social sciences, a course of study in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The State of California is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities to all of its pupils.
(b) There are 92 languages other than English spoken throughout the state, with the primary languages being Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
(c) There is a growing body of academic research that shows the importance of culturally meaningful and relevant curriculum.
(d) Based on the National Education Association (NEA) publication, The Academic and Social Value of Ethnic Studies, the inclusion of ethnic studies in a curriculum has a positive impact on pupils of color.
(e) Ethnic studies benefit pupils in observable ways, such as pupils becoming more academically engaged, increasing their performance on academic tests, improving their graduation rates, and developing a sense of self-efficacy and personal empowerment.
(f) The state’s educational standards should be guided by core values of equity, inclusiveness, and universally high expectations.
(g) The state is committed to its efforts to provide all pupils with excellent educational opportunities, without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, income, sexual orientation, or disability.
(h) The state is committed to its obligation to ensure its youth are college prepared and career ready, while graduating 100 percent of its pupils.
(i) The implementation of various ethnic studies courses within California’s curriculum that are A-G approved, with the objective of preparing pupils to be global citizens with an appreciation for the contributions of multiple cultures, will close the achievement gap, reduce pupil truancy, increase pupil enrollment, reduce dropout rates, and increase graduation rates.
(j) The state should support efforts in recruiting and retaining teachers who have relevant experience and educational background in the study or teaching of ethnic studies.
Section 51226.7 is added to the Education Code, to read:
(a) The Superintendent shall oversee the development of, and the state board shall adopt, a model curriculum to ensure quality courses of study in ethnic studies through partnerships with universities with ethnic studies programs. The model curriculum shall meet the A-G approval requirements of the Regents of the University of California.
(b) (1) On or before the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, the Superintendent shall establish an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee comprised of a majority of educators with experience in teaching ethnic studies from public high schools and institutions of higher education.
(2) The Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee shall advise, assist, and make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the development of the model curriculum pursuant to subdivision (a).
(3) Upon completion of the development of the model curriculum pursuant to subdivision (a), the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee shall cease to exist.
(c) Beginning the school year following the adoption of the model curriculum pursuant to subdivision (a), each school district maintaining any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, may offer to all otherwise qualified pupils in those grades, as an elective in the social sciences, a course of study in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum.