SF Board of Education Affirms Support for CA Ethnic Studies Curriculum

SF Board of Education Affirms Support for CA Ethnic Studies Curriculum

Press Release

San Francisco (May 5, 2020) - Noting the San Francisco Unified School District’s commitment to equity and social justice and the diverse populations served by the City’s public schools, the San Francisco Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution affirming support for the state of California’s Ethnic Studies curriculum model.

“SFUSD values equity and strives to make social justice a reality in our schools, which includes a commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said co-author of the resolution and Board of Education Vice President Gabriela Lopez. 

Researchers studied SFUSD students who enrolled in Ethnic Studies in high school and found students from all backgrounds showed increases in grades, high school graduation rates, college-going rates, and a sense of belonging. 

“Ethnic Studies benefits all students,” said Board of Education President Mark Sanchez. “We support the model curriculum that is in process at the state and hope that other students can benefit from the expansion of Ethnic Studies just as our students have in SFUSD.”

The CA AB2016 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is currently being reviewed by the California Department of Education. The current draft curriculum has generated vast support from communities of color and recognized Ethnic Studies educators and leaders across California and beyond. California public schools have one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the nation, with 77% identified as students of color. 

SFUSD has long been a leader in teaching Ethnic Studies in high schools and an SF Board of Education resolution first called for the expansion of Ethnic Studies in 2008-09. In 2010 a pilot program was approved to develop the existing Ethnic Studies coursework at five high schools. The Ethnic Studies course expanded to reach all SFUSD high schools beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

Through Ethnic Studies in San Francisco, SFUSD educators develop and teach a more robust historical narrative that centers on the perspectives of historically marginalized communities. Ethnic Studies is designed to give high school students an introduction to the experiences of ethnic communities that are rarely represented in textbooks, and offers a compelling way to examine race, ethnicity, nationality and culture in the United States.

Read the full resolution here.

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