(November 13, 2020 / JNS) An advisory board to California’s board of education is scheduled to vote next week on recommended changes to the state’s proposed ethnic-studies curriculum.
The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) is expected to vote on the recommended changes by the California Department of Education (CDE) at a meeting on Nov. 18.
Following the vote will be a 45-day period where concerned citizens can submit additional feedback to CDE ahead of the scheduled approval date of the ethnic-studies curriculum next March.
These recommended changes came in response to Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressing objections over the original draft curriculum for containing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content, in addition to not addressing issues of anti-Semitism or including Jewish Americans.
At a Nov. 6 press conference, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who has been circulated as a possible U.S. secretary of education in the upcoming Biden administration, said “as we talk about the rise of white supremacy, we must talk about the increase in hate acts and bigotry against the Jewish community, the high level of anti-Semitism that we see.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, vetoed a bill last month that would make ethnic-studies courses a high school graduation requirement and cited the ongoing pushback over the curriculum.
StandWithUs expressed support for the recommendations but also concern about no commitment by state education officials “to adding a comprehensive definition of anti-Semitism in all its forms,” in addition to the pressure from anti-Israel activists.
“It is clear that the CDE has recognized many of the concerns raised by Governor Newsom, StandWithUs, our partners and citizens across California,” said SWU CEO Roz Rothstein in a statement. “That said, the IQC still has to approve any changes which would make the curriculum more balanced and inclusive.
“We also remain deeply concerned that education officials have not committed to adding a comprehensive definition of anti-Semitism in all its forms.”
“Furthermore, anti-Israel extremists are now pressuring the IQC to reject many positive revisions. They are demanding a special place for Arab Americans and anti-Israel propaganda in the ESMC, and calling it an ‘insult’ to treat Arabs, Jews, Armenians, Sikhs, Koreans and other communities equally,” continued Rothstein. “That means we still have a lot of work to do to ensure California gets this right.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.