BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                      AB 101

                                                                     Page  1


         101 (Alejo, et al.)

         As Amended  September 1, 2015

         Majority vote

         |ASSEMBLY:  |      | (June 3,      |SENATE: |29-10 | (September 8,   |
         |           |59-20 |2015)          |        |      |2015)            |
         |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
         |           |      |               |        |      |                 |

         Original Committee Reference:  ED.

         SUMMARY:  Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI)  
         to oversee the development of a model curriculum in ethnic  
         studies, and establishes an advisory committee on ethnic studies  
         to make recommendations on the development of the curriculum.

         The Senate amendments: 

         1)Delete the requirement that the SPI develop support systems  
           related to the model curriculum, and delete references to  

         2)Delete a requirement that the advisory committee advise the  
           State Board of Education (SBE) on programs, curriculum content,  
           and other issues related to ethnic studies.


                                                                      AB 101

                                                                     Page  2

         3)Delete a requirement that the SPI submit an implementation plan  
           to the SBE.

         4)Require that the advisory committee cease to exist upon  
           completion of 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.

         FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee,  
         anticipated costs to the California Department of Education of  
         about $476,000 in the first year and $313,000 in the second year  
         to develop the model curriculum and support the Ethnic Studies  
         Advisory Committee.  This includes two full-time and two part-time  


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


                                                                      AB 101

                                                                     Page  3

         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 creating 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: 

              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,  


                                                                      AB 101

                                                                     Page  4

              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. 

         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, according to school district Web sites, 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 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 it is  
         implied that this would be the job of the advisory committee to  

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


                                                                      AB 101

                                                                     Page  5