Friday, September 25, 2020

Tom Elias (“Educate, don’t promote grudges,” Sept. 16) attacks the teaching of ethnic studies in the public schools. He distorts and misrepresents the facts. Elias ignores, for example, that, in adding an ethnic studies component to the public schools curriculum, the hope is to educate our children about our society’s full history. That history, of course, is relevant to fully understanding modern events, including but not limited to the power and sentiment behind the Black Lives Matter movement, blaming Asian Americans for COVID-19, and the devastating impacts of the pandemic on low income essential Latinx workers in the fields.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The new California State University chancellor will take over the nation’s largest public university’s helm at a precarious time, but that’s one reason why Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro wanted the job.

Castro, 53, was named the CSU’s eighth chancellor on Wednesday by the board of trustees. He’s the first native Californian, first Mexican-American and first CSU president promoted to the position. He’ll officially replace retiring Chancellor Timothy P. White on Jan. 4. Castro is taking on a 23-campus system with classes mostly online, a future of tough budget cuts and students and employees facing hardship from historic wildfires and the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

California has decided to swipe left on y’all’s president’s threats to withhold funding from the state if it implements antiracism courses into its school curricula. On Monday, the Golden State unveiled plans to offer antiracist training to public school officials and students as well as mandatory ethnic studies courses for public schools.

Newsweek reports that California’s Department of Education defines the “Education to End Hate” initiative as a training program that aims to “empower educators and students to confront the hate, bigotry, and racism rising in communities across the state and nation.”

From Newsweek:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

n Monday, California unveiled its "Education to End Hate" initiative, a plan to offer anti-racist training to public school communities. The state is also moving forward with a mandatory ethnic studies curriculum for public schools despite threats made earlier in the month by President Donald Trump to deny federal funding to any schools that teach curriculum based on "The 1619 Project," a New York Times Magazine feature examining the nation's anti-Black political history.

While it's unclear whether California's new curriculum will actually incorporate "The 1619 Project," the state's educational plan seemingly defies the Trump Administration's recent denunciation of anti-racism and diversity training programs as "divisive, anti-American propaganda."

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

At a moment of national reckoning about persistent racial inequality, the responses from the Trump administration and the state of California are as contrasting as night and day. 

The White House issued a memo calling on federal agencies to eliminate anti-racism training focused on critical race theory and white privilege, casting these ideas as un-American. Meanwhile in California, a bill to make ethnic studies a high-school graduation requirement waits for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.

It is often said that as California goes, so goes the nation. While the state has its own history with discriminatory policies, the ethnic studies bill known as Assembly Bill 331, authored by one of us, represents hope for the future. It shows how a mutual and accurate understanding of history would pave the path forward toward reconciliation and racial justice in the nation’s largest, most diverse state.

Monday, September 21, 2020

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Education announced new anti-racism lessons and teacher training for school districts on Monday, days after President Donald Trump decried the notion of teaching slavery as a founding tenet of the U.S. and called for a more “patriotic education."

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond pointed to the police killing of George Floyd in May, bullying of Asian American students amid the coronavirus and a spike in anti-immigrant rhetoric and antisemitism since the 2016 election as reasons for the project.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Starting in the 2024-25 school year, Riverside Unified School District students will be required to complete an ethnic studies class to graduate.

The Riverside school board, which unanimously approved the change at its Tuesday, Sept. 15, meeting, beat the state to the punch. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a bill making ethnic studies a requirement for California’s high school students, but as of Friday afternoon, Sept. 18, the bill remains on his desk, unsigned.

The vote came at the request of board member Angelo Farooq, who requested the vote at the board’s July 21 board meeting, which included a discussion of the district’s changing ethnic studies program.