Last August we reached out to many of you about a deeply flawed Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) draft released by the State of California. The curriculum is currently undergoing revisions, thanks to people like you submitting thousands of critical comments to the state. Please see the bottom of this letter for additional background if needed.
We are writing to you now because this fight is not over. State officials are facing intense pressure to approve the curriculum without significant changes, and we need your help to prevent that from happening.
Are you willing to take action to ensure that California public schools promote inclusivity and mutual respect, rather than hatred and division?
If your answer is yes, please fill out the volunteer registration form HERE, and share it with like-minded friends in California.
Why are we asking you to volunteer now?
After California state officials promised to fix problems in the ESMC, some groups created a false alarm, claiming that the very existence of an ethnic studies curriculum is being threatened.
This non-existent threat is being used to mislead well-meaning people and fuel an organized, state-wide campaign to preserve the deeply flawed first draft. A number of local school boards across California have been manipulated into endorsing the current version of the ESMC, even though it is still undergoing revisions by the California Department of Education.
You can help ensure this curriculum is fixed.
Sign up to volunteer, and in the coming weeks we will share various ways you can help. Of course, what types of actions you take are entirely up to you.
Here are examples of what we may ask volunteers to do :
Educate your friends and family about this issue, and recruit additional volunteers.
Sign and share a petition
Contact members of your local school board and other local education officials via email or through personal relationships
Attend school board meetings via Zoom and make a public comment to the board
Reach out to your representatives in the California State Legislature
Submit comments about the curriculum to the California Department of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, and State Board of Education.
To make your efforts as easy as possible, we will provide suggested talking points and other educational resources.
The one thing to do TODAY is to please fill in this volunteer form, indicating how you might like to help.
We look forward to working together with you to make sure the revised ESMC fosters mutual respect, rather than hatred, division, and indoctrination.
Background Information on the ESMC
- AB 2016 is the bill that led to the curriculum being created. The bill says the objective of Ethnic Studies courses is "preparing pupils to be global citizens with an appreciation for the contributions of multiple cultures."
- There are three main problems with the first draft of the ESMC:
- The latest news about the curriculum is here and here. The California Department of Education has said the curriculum will focus on "four foundational groups" (African American, Asian American, Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x, and Native American) and reportedly agreed to take promotion of boycotts against Israel out. No changes will be official until they are voted on by the Instructional Quality Commission on August 13th.
- The State Board of Education (SBE) issued a statement saying, “A model curriculum should be accurate, free of bias, appropriate for all learners in our diverse state and align with Governor Newsom’s vision of a California for all. The current draft model curriculum falls short and needs to be substantially redesigned.” (emphasis added)
- Governor Gavin Newsom called the ESMC draft “deeply offensive in so many ways," promising that it would be "substantially amended” and "never see the light of day. ”
- Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis said that "without significant edits, I fear that the draft ESMC would marginalize and promote discrimination against some of our most vulnerable populations. For this reason, I strongly encourage the Instructional Quality Commission to make substantial edits.”