Assembly Bill 101 was recently passed in the State Assembly and is now making its way through the State Senate, with a major vote coming up as early as this week (the bill was referred to the State Senate’s Committee on Education, but the hearing was postponed). AB101 will force students to take a course of Ethnic Studies before graduating from California public and charter high schools. We now have a great opportunity to tell our State Senators our thoughts on this bill and demand that they vote NO on AB101.
First, this bill creates a costly new mandate on our children’s education, at a time when parents would rather see solid grounding in STEM that helps their children stay competitive in a global economy and to be able to have jobs that will allow them to remain in costly California. We are already requiring the mandate at public universities, why push it down to youth? Creating this new mandate creates new costs that will need to be budgeted in the State budget, drawing valuable resources away from the state’s pressing problems of homelessness, mental health, drought, fire dangers, and public safety.
Second, we oppose the Marxism-based Critical Race Theory (CRT) that underpins the state’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). The thematic outlines around identity, systems of power, and social movements and equity might appear innocuous at first glance, but materials frame the entire curriculum structure on “white supremacy” and indoctrinates students into a world view of oppressors and oppressed, while amplifying racial stereotyping in the process. For example, it treats Asian Americans and Jewish Americans without nuance, and dumbs down the nuances of California’s diverse populations to emphasize skin color over all else. It is the antithesis of constructive ethnic studies. The CRT framework will fracture our communities, not benefit them. Instead of healing racial – or other lines of – division, this effort will cause further division, confusion, and pessimism. It just doesn’t make sense. Why would we replace current curricula with this unproven framework?
Here’s a list of groups opposing AB101 and their well-written reasons for their opposition:
And here are additional resources that provide details on ESMC:
- Here’s the bill: AB101: High school graduation requirements: ethnic studies
- Here’s the state’s mandated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum: ESMC
- A fairly objective background article describing the progress: https://www.educationnext.org/ethnic-studies-california-unsteady-jump-from-college-campuses-to-k-12-classrooms/
- A history on this bill: https://www.google.com/amp/s/edsource.org/2021/a-final-vote-after-many-rewrites-for-californias-controversial-ethnic-studies-curriculum/651338/amp
Email or call your State Senator today to say NO to AB101!
SD10: Bob Wieckowski (D)
(510) 794-3900 Email Senator Wieckowski
SD13: Josh Becker (D)
(650) 212-3313 Email Senator Becker
SD15: Dave Cortese (D)
(408) 558-1295 Email Senator Cortese
SD17: John Laird (D)
(408) 847-6101 Email Senator Laird
Find your Senator here.