(JTA) — Senior education officials in California have expressed disapproval of a proposed ethnic studies curriculum for the state’s schools.
The Jewish community is among several minority groups that have protested the draft.
As written, the curriculum failed to meet the standard of being “accurate, free of bias, appropriate for all learners in our diverse state, and align with Governor Newsom’s vision of a California for all,” Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond and two other officials said in a statement Tuesday quoted by The Los Angeles Times.
A 2016 law ordered the Board of Education to create a curriculum that would highlight the contributions of minorities in the development of California and the United States. The board has put the model curriculum up for public comment and will vote on it next year.
The draft provides sample courses in four main areas: African-American Studies, Hispanic Studies, Native American Studies and Asian American Studies. Supporters say the goal is to create inclusive and supportive environments for children of color.
State Sen. Ben Allen told the Times that while he supported having an ethnic studies curriculum, he was “amazed that in a curriculum that has so much about bigotry and hatred of all sorts of different forms that there was not a single mention of anti-Semitism in the glossary.”
He also pointed out that a number of other ethnic groups were excluded, including Irish Americans and Italian Americans.
On Tuesday, a coalition of Armenian, Hellenic, Hindu, Jewish and Korean civic groups issued a joint statement calling for the curriculum to be scrapped.
“The draft lacks cultural competency, does not reflect California’s diverse population, and advances a political agenda that should not be taught as unchallenged truth in our state’s public schools,” the statement said.
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