ASBAREZ: Portantino Expresses Concerns with Ethnic Studies Curriculum Draft

Thursday, August 29 2019

SACRAMENTO—Senator Anthony J. Portantino sent a letter to the California Department of Education detailing his concerns regarding the current draft of the department’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. While the Senator appreciates the attempt to represent California’s diversity in the creation of the United States’ first ethnic studies curriculum, he believes that the current draft does not properly represent the contributions made by many ethnic communities. In particular, concerns have been brought to his attention by the Legislative Jewish Caucus as well as from leaders within the Armenian and Italian American communities.

“Representing an ethnically diverse district within an ethnically diverse state, I strongly support the concerns raised by representatives of California’s proud Armenian, Italian and Jewish American communities with respect to the draft curriculum. Recent efforts in Sacramento to oppose our state’s support of Artsakh, annual Armenian Genocide recognition, and the horrific tragedy at the Poway Synagogue underscore how topical the ethnic studies curriculum is to the future civil and human rights approaches for the students in California,” said Portantino

Senator Portantino looks forward to continued discussions with the Department of Education to ensure that all people have their history and contributions appropriately represented in California’s school curriculum. As California is the most diverse state in the nation, it would be unfortunate to exclude groups and nuances that have helped shape our shared California experiences.

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