By Aaron Bandler
Aug 13, 2019
The California State Board of Education (SBE) announced on Aug. 12 that the proposed anti-Israel Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) will be replaced with an entirely new draft.
SBE President Linda Darling-Hammond, Vice President Ilene Straus and Board Member Feliza Ortiz-Licon said in the statement, “The current draft model curriculum falls short and needs to be substantially redesigned. Following the Instructional Quality Commission’s review and response to all public comments, a new draft will be developed for State Board of Education review and potential approval. The Board will ultimately adopt an ethnic studies model curriculum that aligns to California’s values.”
Myriad Jewish groups have criticized the drafted ESMC for supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and failing to mention anti-Semitism as an example of bigotry; other ethnic groups have also called for the ESMC to be re-drafted. More than 13,000 people have signed an Israeli-American Council petition against the ESMC. The Los Angeles Times also came out against the ESMC in an Aug. 2 editorial.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement to the Journal that the SBE’s decision is a “victory for all Californians and a defeat for anti-Semites and extremists” and they are “Grateful to elected officials who intervened.” The Wiesenthal Center said they are “ready to help revise [the] curriculum.”
American Jewish Committee Los Angeles Regional Office Acting Chief of Staff Dganit Abramoff said in a statement to the Journal, “We thank the California Jewish Caucus, especially Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, for their diligent efforts in challenging this biased and politicized curriculum. In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to working with our state legislators and the California Department of Education to ensure that the next draft is more inclusive.”
StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder Roz Rothstein similarly said in a statement to the Journal, “We are proud of our community for standing up together and demanding changes to this deeply flawed curriculum. While we still have a long way to go, this statement is clear evidence that all of our voices are being heard. We need to keep speaking out until the state comes up with a curriculum we can all be proud of.”
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