The Los Angeles Times reports a bill passed by the California State Assembly would require the state to study how best to implement ethnic studies into the public high school curriculum.
“The whole point of ethnic studies is American at its core,” teacher Kitaro Webb said . “It’s about civic engagement, responsibility and fighting for what you believe in.”
Opponents of ethnic studies call such classes divisive and fosters resentment between races.
It’s been particularly contentious in Arizona where Mexican American studies in Tucson has been outlawed following a law that bans classes primarily designed for a particular ethnic group or those that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”
“California is moving in a different direction, one that recognizes and values the history of the people who make up our state,” said Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) who sponsored the bill. “This will put California on the cutting edge — while other states are trying to abolish ethnic studies, we can standardize and incorporate it into high school curriculum.”
Alejo’s bill is now in the State Senate.
You can read more about what Alejo envisions in the Los Angeles Times.