Assembly Member Jose Medina was joined Wednesday by other California legislators, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, a couple of high schoolers and a teacher in a full-court press of advocacy for Assembly Bill 101, which would require all California high schoolers to take an ethnic studies course before they graduate.
Given the events of the past year — the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the rhetoric from former President Donald Trump, the storming of the U.S. Capitol by rioters who included white supremacists hoisting the Confederate flag, a symbol of racism — the need for ethnic studies is more critical now than it’s ever been, Medina and others said during the virtual news conference.
Medina (D-Riverside) authored an ethnic studies bill in 2019 that easily passed through the Assembly and Senate but was vetoed in September 2020 by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who cited controversy over the proposed model curriculum. Newsom had signed into a law another bill requiring ethnic studies for California State University students earlier in 2020.
Armenian and Jewish leaders in 2019 had criticized the model curriculum for ignoring the genocides that killed millions in the 20th century.
Model Curriculum Revised
The new proposed model curriculum, now in its third review, includes lessons about Armenian migration stories, antisemitism and Jewish Middle Eastern-Americans, and the Sikh-American community in California.
The comment period for this curriculum ended Jan. 21. The final draft and summary of public comments are scheduled to go before the state Board of Education in March.
AB 101 would require high schools to offer a one-semester course in ethnic studies starting in the 2025-26 school year, and would require high schoolers graduating in the 2029-30 school year to have taken a course.
For Fresno Unified, the state debate over ethnic studies is a moot point. The trustees approved a resolution in August for an ethnic studies course requirement for high schoolers starting next school year.
Assemblymember Jose Medina: “I am determined to empower students and help build culturally competent citizens by…
Meanwhile, it’s apparent that for some California politicians, including two who participated in Wednesday’s news conference, Trump is their Lord Voldemort — He Who Must Not Be Named.
Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) referred to Trump as “the person we just kicked out of the White House” and Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) called him “our previous occupant of the White House that promoted racial bigotry and ethnic hatred like no other one has done in our lifetime and maybe this country’s lifetime.”
Clovis Unified Hosts Online CTE Fair
Clovis Unified students and parents who want to learn about the career technical education offerings provided by the district can go online at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the Online CTE Fair.
Normally, the fair would be an in-person event where students and their families could have some hands-on experiences, but the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates an online event this year.
Clovis Unified’s CTE study areas are agriculture mechanics; agriculture science; animal science; business management; child development; design, visual and media art; education; engineering and architecture; environmental resources; emergency response; financial services; food service and hospitality; patient care; performing arts; production and managerial arts; product innovation; public safety; residential and commercial construction.
Here’s the link for the CTE Fair: : www.cusd.com/CTENight