“It is unconscionable that with so much at stake, the State Board of Education would mislead California citizens into believing that bold claims about the benefits of ethnic-studies courses for K-12 students are supported by considerable and robust empirical evidence when this is simply untrue,” concluded the scholars.
The scholarly review comes as concerns continue to mount on the development of California’s Ethnic Studies curriculum.
Last year, AMCHA organized a letter from 80 organizations that urged California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a bill, AB 331, that would have mandated high school students take a course based on the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, and he did. However, a new bill has recently been introduced in the state legislature to replace AB 331.
“Since this curriculum was first introduced, we have warned of the dangers of its effects on both Jewish students and all students,” stated Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA’s director and co-founder.
“Based on years of experience fighting bigotry, we fear that instead of its intended goal of educating and uniting, this curriculum, which has adopted a highly politicized Critical Ethnic Studies framework, will have the opposite effect of pitting students against each other and will lead to increased divisiveness and polarization. With the discovery that ESMC’s foundational claims are baseless, we call on California legislators to carefully consider what it means to pour tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into mandating courses that have not been proven to benefit students either academically or socially, and instead, may very well harm them.”