Get ready for another California ethnic studies battle: Thomas D. Elias

Posted on: April 8, 2020

None of the myriad documents prepared by state agencies last year came close to generating the conflict and heated emotions of a proposed new ethnic studies curriculum for public schools put forward by California’s Board of Education and the state’s Department of Education.

Expect a new battle on this subject soon.

The end result of last year’s kerfluffle was that the plan went back to the drawing board. A draft of a purported new plan will be released later this spring, barring coronavirus-related delays, with public input to follow and the aim of getting approval by the state board next fall for use during the 2021-22 school year.

Good luck with that schedule. The way it seems to be shaping up indicates the new ethnic studies program will strongly resemble the old one, which drew fire for ignoring the contributions and problems of many ethnic groups, including Jewish Americans, Armenian Americans and some other significant groups.

This happened in part because the rejected draft divided all Californians into four basic ethnic identities: African Americans, whites, Hispanic Americans and Asians/Pacific Islanders (as if — for example — it makes any sense to toss Chinese Americans and Samoan Americans into the same pot).

To read the rest of this column in the Orange County Register, please click here.

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