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All SFUSD High Schools to Offer Ethnic Studies Classes

Press release

(San Francisco) December 10, 2014 – The San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously to provide every high school student with the opportunity to enroll in an Ethnic Studies class by the school year 2015-2016.

In addition to expanding the class offering to all high schools, the Board resolution encourages district middle schools to infuse multiethnic and multiculturalism throughout the 6-8 grade curriculum and to explore institutionalizing Ethnic Studies coursework as a requirement for graduation in the future. 

“As the author of this resolution, I am proud to announce the passage of this resolution to institutionalize Ethnic Studies into every SFUSD high school,” said San Francisco Board of Education president Sandra Lee Fewer. “By affording every high school student the opportunity to take the course, we are doing our share in creating a more cohesive, peaceful world while allowing students to develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. 

“This course has been also approved by the University of California as eligible for entrance into our UC system.  As the President of the Board of Education I am proud to represent the San Francisco Unified School District as it leads the nation in setting the example of how important it is for students to see their own ethnicity reflected in the real history of our country,” said Fewer.

“As a former Social Studies teacher in Arizona, I witnessed Mexican American studies being stripped from the curriculum though 95 percent of my students were Mexican American. I am so proud that the very books being banned in Arizona are being celebrated here,” said Superintendent Richard A. Carranza. “At some point in the near future we’re going to talk about how everyone’s culture is infused in every aspect of the curriculum -- math, history, social studies, science, and art – because this is what is best for our students.”

The existing interdisciplinary Ethnic Studies curriculum developed by SFUSD teachers encourages students to explore their personal identities while also practicing reading, writing and analytical skills.

The first class was offered in SFUSD in 2008 and now several schools offer the class as an elective that meets the California State University a-g elective requirement. Since 2011, SFUSD students who successfully complete the Ethnic Studies course in their junior or senior year can receive college credit from SF State University.

A staff position will be funded to oversee the expansion to all high schools as well as to ensure support for curriculum development and teacher training.

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Page updated on 12/10/14