I support the curriculum because it can be instituted with no cost to the district and includes the cultures, histories, and values of diverse peoples of color, who in the past and present have been excluded from school. My personal connection to this motion is my Jewish heritage- I want the education not only to focus on the holocaust but to cover the scapegoating of Jewish people for centuries. I think the fight for getting this curriculum instituted and the history that this program teaches demonstrate stong, undeniable intersectionality- around silencing and oppression. It is up to you all to change that history of oppression and offer ethnic studies in OUSD!
I am an Ethnic Studies student at San Francisco State University and never experienced ethnic studies before college. I urge you to support the model curriculum as is, with Arab American, Pacific Islander, and Central American Studies. Studies show that reflection of one’s own race and ethnicity in educational curriculum increases student engagement, and ethnic studies improves the performance of both Ethnic and white students. Ethnic studies has completely changed my life by giving me the tools and language to articulate my experience as a woman of color and critically evaluate our society. We live in a multicultural racially and ethnically diverse society and all students need to be prepared for that by learning about these diverse peoples through ethnic studies.
No one is against Ethnic Studies. I studied Sociology with an Emphasis in Racism and Sexism. The vote is about a specific DRAFT. Please table this issue and READ the DRAFT before voting to pass it.
Ethnic Studies, 50+ years. The time is now. Please vote yes. Thank you.
Please read the curriculum and the critical comments, so you can make an informed decision and vote no tonight.
I am in support with ethnic studies in our schools. I Am a West Oakland graduate and I want to thank all the teachers who taught me. But this is so important that our children are taught this history. I appreciate the board and our community for fighting for this. OUSD please make the right choice and support ethnic studies
21st Century learning requires that the student’s education reflect their experience and appreciate their culture. At the same time educate the student to the diversity of lived experience and culture and difference. Including ritual, practice, variety of holiday’s celebrated different from our anglo-Saxon emphasized culture in the US. This includes Muslim, Jewish, Hindu practices. As well as the understanding of ethnio-religious peoples such as Jews and Hindus. Let the revisions include this essential material.
I am a proud Khmer-Arab American OUSD student. For the last 11 years, I have never heard the stories of my people being taught. I not only need to know about my history but others.. It hurts me to say that I can only embrace my Khmer background.
It’s important to know something than nothing.. It’s important to embrace each other’s histories and have ourselves reflected as a diverse Oakland Community.
i once wrote “how are we so eager to spread hate like a disease when we can’t even wipe away dust from our past“ what history do i know if not my own?
I support the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum resolution and urge OUSD to ensure that Pacific Islander, Arab American and Central American Studies remain in the final version.
Please stand with Oakland Students and vote Yes!
I SUPPORT the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum resolution and urge OUSD to ensure that Pacific Islander, Arab American & Central American studies remain in the final version. As and educator in OUSD for over 13 years that has worked to integrate and teach Ethnic Studies in our meaningful student engagement curriculum I have seen how students want to learn about themselves and their peers and can hold challenging conversations, listen and learn together. I was in circle with a diverse group of Peer RJ youth leaders at Westlake as a group of Muslim 7th grade girls shared about their cultures and community. This started a deep conversation where students engaged in dialogue and learned about each other. To say that students can not have difficult meaningful conversations and think critically is patronizing and does not give our youth and teachers credit. Please stand with Oakland students who feel invisible and want to learn about themselves and others and vote YES.
I am writing to you as a community member outraged by Oakland School District's consideration of the abandoned California Ethnic Studies model curriculum. It was abandoned because it is furthers prejudice and hate against some minority groups, in the name of teaching tolerance and appreciation for some minorities.
Allow the state to further refine the model into something that brings us together and develops pride in all groups.
Do not turn Oakland schools into a hate-mongering system.
Dr. Joseph Glaser
I am a proud OUSD Alum and I grew up in East Oakland. As a Central American student, I have never seen my story told in the classroom. During these times where Central Americans are constantly targeted in the media and scapegoated, we should teach students that the Central American community is more than stereotypes. I have younger siblings and I want them to see themselves in the curriculum, just as their white peers do. I also stand with Arab American Studies, Pacific Islander Studies, and West American Studies. We need to learn all these communities' history not only eurocentric history.
I live in District 7 and am a member of Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace. My two grandchildren will begin public education in an OUSD school in 2021 and I hope their education will help produce engaged and caring citizens of the world. I SUPPORT the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Resolution and urge the Board to ensure that Pacific Islander, Arab American & Central American studies remain in the final version.
My support grows naturally out of my Jewish heritage. Jews have been considered “the other” for centuries by white nationalists and have experienced attempts to be erased. One of the reasons anti-Semitism is so well understood and combatted in this country is because we fought to integrate studies of it into our educational curricula. It is important for all youth, including Jewish youth, to learn about Islamophobia, racism, and white nationalism.
Please vote to include Arab American, Pacific Islander and Central American Studies in the state’s model curriculum.
Dear School Board members,
I am a parent of two Glenview at Santa Fe kids and also a member of Kehilla Community Synagogue, and I support the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Draft and in specific the inclusion of Arab-American studies. People often treat Jews as monolith, but we are of every race. Jews of color are about 12-15% of the US community. Our Jewish family has roots in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle-east. So ethnic studies is our history!
Also, if we truly are about closing the achievement gap, a 2016 study by Stanford of San Francisco schools offering ethnic studies showed attendance for those in an ethnic studies classes increased by 21% and GPA by 1.4 grade points. The largest gains were among boys of color, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. Lastly, our Arab-American community is extremely marginalized and maligned in the era of Trump, teaching Arab-American history is teaching tolerance and combatting xenophobia. Thank you!
As a Central American student who grew up going to OUSD schools K-12, I fully support this resolution. From elementary school through high school, I was always one of the few Central Americans in my classes. As a young person in Oakland, you face enough barriers in the education system already, another one should not be the erasure of your identity. Luckily, some of my teachers went above and beyond to expose me to Central American history. They should not have had to do that. Central American history should not have to be added on, it should be in the curriculum. Not doing so is effectively erasing us from history and contributing to Mexican hegemony. I heard offensive remarks towards Central American students too often, which makes it clear that learning Central American history is needed for everyone, regardless of ethnicity. Please show Oakland’s Central American students that their history is important enough to be in the main curriculum. Students need to feel seen to succeed.
As an Israeli born practicing Jew, I strongly support AB2016 California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. I urge the Board to implement this very important and necessary curriculum.
My name is Elliot Helman. I live in San Francisco and have worked in SF public schools for over 30 years. I have seen first hand what a positive impact that an Ethnic Studies Curriculum that includes the voices of Arab, Arab-American, and Muslim community members, in their own words and on their own terms.
As a Jew, active in my synagogue, and as the father of a child who is both Jewish and African American, I would counsel the Board to not be swayed by a small segment of the pro-Israel interests who are waging war on dissent in the guise of fighting anti-semitism. They are not only on the wrong side of the issue vis-a-vis the majority of Jews in the Bay Area, but they are also on the wrong side of history, as more and more people come to realize that Israel has become an apartheid state and that criticising Israel is not an anti-semitic act.
As a former Ethnic studies teacher, I am writing to support tonight's resolution advocating for the statewide Ethnic Studies curriculum and strongly support the inclusion of Arab American, Pacific Islander, and Central American studies. Between the Islamophobia and xenophobia constantly being spewed on the news cycle it would be important to have the space that students are able to learn and fight the against the stereotyping of people but even more so classmates. I believe we would be doing the students of OUSD a disservice if this resolution did not pass.
As a Jewish American mother of a 5 year old African American daughter (soon to be OUSD student), I am writing to support tonight's resolution advocating for statewide ethnic studies curriculum and strongly support the inclusion of Arab American studies in this curriculum. Since 9/11, Arab-American students across the country have seen an increase in Islamophobic and anti-Arab comments, hazing and harassment. This mistreatment exploded after Trump’s Muslim ban. Most California students and teachers are woefully ignorant of the history and culture of Arabs and Arab-Americans. Teaching Arab-American studies in high school would go a long way towards diffusing prejudice and stereotyping. As a Jew, I know that ethnic studies doesn't create anti-Semitism, white nationalism and supremacy does. Thank you for your consideration and I hope that you will support this resolution tonight. Andrea Lee, D2
After 50 years it is long past time for public schools to teach Ethnic Studies statewide. We were founders of Ethnic Studies at UCB in 1969. Our program included Oakland High School students & service learning projects at many OUSD sites. Ethnic Studies was meant to serve the Oakland & its diverse student population. It was not general multicultural ed, we wanted to serve students of color whose history & communities were excluded from the university. We hoped all students would learn a truer American history examining the institutional role of racism, exploitation, exclusion & discrimination.
We fully support the resolution & also the continuation of Jewish American studies. They cannot be pitted agst each other. I attended Einstein Medical school where I learned about the Jewish people & their history here in the US. We visited Holocust museums in Berlin & LA. Very meaningful World History. Both should be taught to our students. There is NO CONTRADICTION in having both.