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August 14, 2019 5:26 pm

California Praised for Scrapping Controversial Ethnic Studies Curriculum Amid Antisemitism Fears

avatar by David Gerstman

California’s Board of Education was praised for rejecting a controversial ethnic studies curriculum. Photo: Reuters.

A Jewish advocacy group praised the State of California on Wednesday for scrapping a controversial new ethnic studies curriculum that had caused concern among Jewish groups over antisemitism.

The AMCHA Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting campus antisemitism, praised the decision in a statement.

“We are pleased the State Board of Education has recognized the severe problems with this curriculum and agreed to go back to the drawing board,” AMCHA’s statement read.

However, AMCHA warned that the Board of Education “must establish overall safeguards” to ensure that future efforts don’t repeat the failings of the most recent curriculum.

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Last week, AMCHA wrote a letter representing a coalition of 83 groups to the board expressing their concern over the proposed curriculum. The letter observed that there was a “shocking omission of information about American Jews and antisemitism, its use of classic antisemitic stereotypes, and its blatant anti-Israel bias” in the curriculum.

Last month members of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus wrote a letter to the state’s board of education saying, “we cannot support a curriculum that erases the American Jewish experience, fails to discuss antisemitism, reinforces negative stereotypes about Jews, singles out Israel for criticism and would institutionalize the teaching of antisemitic stereotypes in our public schools.”

The state’s Board of Education announced that it was scrapping the curriculum in a statement released Monday.

“A model curriculum should be accurate, free of bias, appropriate for all learners in our diverse state, and align with Governor [Gavin] Newsom’s vision of a California for all,” the statement read. “The current draft model curriculum falls short and needs to be substantially redesigned.”


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