BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     AB 101

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          101 (Alejo, et al.)

          As Enrolled  September 14, 2015

          2/3 vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  |59-20 |(June 3, 2015) |SENATE: |29-10 |(September 8,    |
          |           |      |               |        |      |2015)            |
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |61-15 |(September 9,  |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |2015)          |        |      |                 |
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          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.


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          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 advises the  
            State Board of Education (SBE) on programs, curriculum  
            content, and other issues related to ethnic studies.

          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  

          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  


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            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 positions.  


          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  
          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.


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          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,  
               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. 


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          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  
          websites, 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 determine.


          This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction  
          to oversee the development of a model curriculum in ethnic  
          studies for adoption by the State Board of Education.

          This bill creates what is essentially a redundant process.  The  
          Instructional Quality Commission is in the midst of revising the  
          History-Social Science Framework, which includes guidance on  
          ethnic studies courses.

          Creating yet another advisory body specific to ethnic studies  
          would be duplicative and undermine our current curriculum  


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