Jewish Caucus Voices Concerns about Draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum
Sacramento, CA – Last week, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus submitted a letter of concern (found here: https://bit.ly/2Tveauj) regarding the initial draft of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), which is open for public comment until August 15, 2019. Once revised and approved, the ESMC will help guide instruction in schools across the state. In its current form, the draft curriculum is inaccurate and misleading in several critical respects and reflects an anti-Jewish bias.
In submitting the letter, leaders of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus released the following statements:
“I am disappointed that the Ethnic Studies Draft Curriculum omits the Jewish experience and our country’s history of antisemitism,” said Senator Ben Allen, Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “Our culture is a critical part of the ethnic fabric of America, and our oppression is a visible, dark stain on our country’s narrative. As a former school board member and proud product of our public school systems, I am acutely aware of how misrepresentation in our history books decreases compassion and creates a cycle of bias and intolerance. However, I am heartened that our allies in the other ethnic caucuses recognize this issue and are united in the effort to ensure appropriate acknowledgement of Jewish culture, contributions, and persecution within the curriculum, as well as other cultures as yet ignored by the panel.”
“The proposed curriculum is inaccurate, offensive, and, frankly, dangerous,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “We cannot accept a curriculum that erases the Jewish community, fails to acknowledge antisemitism, and would institutionalize the teaching of anti-Jewish stereotypes in our public schools. We’re going to do everything in our power to get it fixed.”
“The California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus stands in solidarity with the California Legislative Jewish Caucus to oppose the moving forward of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) without significant revisions,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria, Vice Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus. “We live in a society where antisemitism is still alive, even here in California. We must recognize that hate is still present in modern day society and it is important for California students to comprehend all of the state’s complex history in its entirety, this includes the American Jewish experience.”
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