After years of debate, California approves K-12 ethnic studies curriculum

By: | March 19, 2021

As America reels from its latest spate of deadly hate crimes and racism, the California State Board of Education on approved the nation’s first statewide ethnic studies curriculum for high schools, saying the teaching of discrimination and oppression has never been more important. After an eight-hour public meeting, board members voted unanimously, 11-0, to approve the curriculum it hopes will become a model for other states to follow.

Educators and civil rights leaders who spoke at the meeting mourned last week’s killing of eight people, most of them Asian women, in Georgia, as the latest tragic example of racism but also a poignant reminder that education is an essential strategy to combating hate.

“We are reminded daily that racism is not only a legacy of the past but a clear and present danger,” said Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond, who led President Joe Biden’s education transition team. “We must understand this history if we are finally to end it.”

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