BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                       AB 101

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          101 (Alejo, et al.)

          As Amended  June 1, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                |
          |                |      |                    |                    |
          |                |      |                    |                    |
          |Education       |6-1   |O'Donnell, Kim,     |Chávez              |
          |                |      |McCarty, Santiago,  |                    |
          |                |      |Thurmond, Weber     |                    |
          |                |      |                    |                    |
          |Appropriations  |12-1  |Gomez, Bonta,       |Gallagher           |
          |                |      |Calderon, Daly,     |                    |
          |                |      |Eggman,             |                    |
          |                |      |                    |                    |
          |                |      |                    |                    |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                    |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                    |
          |                |      |Quirk, Rendon,      |                    |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                    |
          |                |      |                    |                    |
          |                |      |                    |                    |

          SUMMARY:  Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI)  
          to oversee the development of a model curriculum in ethnic  


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          studies, establishes an advisory committee on ethnic studies, and  
          requires that all school districts serving students in grades 7 to  
          12 offer ethnic studies as an elective course.  Specifically, this  
          1)Makes findings and declarations relating to the importance of  
            instruction in ethnic studies.

          2)Requires the SPI to oversee the development of a model  
            curriculum and other support systems to ensure quality courses  
            in partnerships with universities with ethnic studies programs.

          3)Requires that the model curriculum meet the A-G approval  
            requirements of the Regents of the University of California.

          4)Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt the model  

          5)Requires the SPI to establish an Ethnic Studies Advisory  
            Committee (Committee), made up of relevant stakeholders,  
            including students, parents, state personnel, ethnic studies  
            scholars, university professors, and teachers with ethnic  
            studies experience.

          6)Requires that the Committee be comprised of a majority of  
            educators with experience in teaching ethnic studies from high  
            schools and institutions of higher education.

          7)Requires the Committee to advise, assist, and make  
            recommendations to the SBE on programs, curriculum content, and  
            other issues related to ethnic studies.

          8)Requires, by June 30, 2016, the SPI to submit to the SBE a plan  


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            to implement this section.

          9)States that school districts enrolling students in grades 7 to  
            12, in the school year following the adoption of the model  
            curriculum, may offer to students as an elective course, a  
            course of study in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum.

          EXISTING LAW:

          1)Requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to adopt a course of  
            study for grades 7 to 12 which includes English, mathematics,  
            science, history-social studies, and other subjects.

          2)Establishes the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and  
            requires, upon request by the SBE, that it make recommendations  
            on courses of study.  

          3)Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop  
            model curricula on a variety of topics, including the life of  
            Cesar Chavez, and human rights and genocide.

        EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, General Fund  
          administrative costs of in the range of $300,000 to $500,000 for  
          the CDE to develop a model curriculum framework in ethnic studies,  
          and annual General Fund costs of approximately $300,000 to  
          establish and convene the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee.


          Research on academic value of ethnic studies.  A review by the  


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          National Education Association found that "there is considerable  
          research evidence that well-designed and well-taught ethnic  
          studies curricula have positive academic and social outcomes for  
          students.  Curricula are designed and taught somewhat differently  
          depending on the ethnic composition of the class or school and the  
          subsequent experiences students bring, but both students of color  
          and White students have been found to benefit from ethnic studies.  
           A recent analysis found "a consistent, significant, positive  
          relationship between [Mexican American Studies] participation and  
          student academic performance." 

          Trend toward local ethnic studies graduation requirements.   
          Several school districts have recently made completion of a course  
          in ethnic studies a local graduation requirement.  Among them are  
          Los Angeles Unified School District (which also resolved that the  
          total number of credits required for graduation would not  
          increase), Montebello Unified School District, and El Rancho  
          Unified School District.  San Francisco Unified School District  
          has resolved to offer ethnic studies courses at all high schools,  
          and explore ways create such a graduation requirement in the next  
          five years.

          Most ethnic studies courses reported as not meeting A-G  
          requirements.  According to data reported by CDE, 8,129 students  
          were enrolled in ethnic studies courses in the 2012-13 school  
          year.  Of those, 4,379 students were enrolled in 435 social  
          science ethnic studies courses in 100 schools, and 3,750 students  
          were enrolled in 137 language arts (ethnic literature) courses in  
          49 schools.  Notably, only 108 of the 435 social science courses  
          and 97 of the 137 language arts courses were identified as  
          approved A-G courses.  

          Ethnic studies course outlined in draft History-Social Science  
          framework.  The draft History-Social Science Framework developed  
          by the IQC, describes high school elective courses in ethnic  
          studies as follows: 


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               Ethnic studies is an interdisciplinary field of study  
               that encompasses many subject areas including history,  
               literature, economics, sociology, and political science,  
               among others. In this course, students focus on an  
               in-depth comparative study of the history, politics,  
               culture, contributions, challenges, and current status  
               of ethnic groups in the United States. It is also  
               important for students to learn the national origins of  
               ethnic groups and their transnational linkages. In  
               Ethnic Studies, students examine the process of racial  
               and ethnic formation of ethnic minorities in a variety  
               of contexts: political, legal, social, historical,  
               economic, and cultural. The course concentrates, to a  
               great extent, on the experiences of various ethnic  
               minorities in the United States and the ways in which  
               their experiences were impacted by the issues of race,  
               ethnicity, class, gender, and the interaction among  
               different ethnic groups. Students will also address how  
               individuals within specific ethnic groups think and feel  
               about themselves and their group as it can be  
               represented by literature, memoirs, art, and music. To  
               understand ethnic identity in their local communities,  
               students can volunteer with local community  
               organizations and centers that serve specific ethnic  

          Which courses would be developed?  Ethnic studies courses are  
          taught in different disciplines (often history, social sciences,  
          and literature) and cover varied content (often ethnic-specific).   
          For example, Montebello Unified School District offers a history  
          elective called "Mexican American Studies" and an English/Language  
          Arts elective called "African American Literature."  Oakland  
          Unified School District offers a history-social science elective  
          course titled "African American History" and Los Angeles Unified  
          School District offers an English/language arts course titled  
          "Mexican American Literature."  San Francisco Unified School  


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          district offers a social studies elective called "Asian American  
          History," a year-long course taught in Chinese titled "Asian  
          American Studies," as well as a social studies elective titled  
          "Ethnic Studies." 

          This bill does not indicate the kinds of courses that are to be  
          contained in the model curriculum it requires, but suggests that  
          this would be the job of the advisory committee to determine,  
          potentially making the task of writing the model curriculum  

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Tanya Lieberman / ED. / (916) 319-2087  FN: