California Educator

December/January 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 63

A necessary component of education e new legislation mandates that the ES gradua- tion requirement will go into effect in the 2029-30 school year. High schools must begin offering ES courses as an elective by the 2025-26 school year. (See sidebar, page 35.) Arimboanga and other STA members have made Stockton Unified a trailblazer in ES well before these deadlines. ey are making a case to the school board to allocate funding for classes, additional teachers and professional develop ment; are gathering community and student input on what will be studied; and are setting timelines on instructional goals and new course offerings. Arimboanga and ES teacher Aldrich Sabac are part of the district's Curriculum Development Team, comprising 12 teachers, two curriculum specialists, and five community members. The team is tasked with charting a future course for ES and filling the subject's curriculum void. (Cali- fornia's ES model curriculum offers some resources and lessons, but an entire curriculum is currently not available.) Ethnic studies is the study of historical and contemporary n a r r a t i v e s , c o n t r i b u t i o n s , s t r u g g l e s a n d resistance by people of color and historically mar- ginalized communities. It includes historical and sociological analysis of how colonialism, race and racism have been (and continue to be) powerful social, cultural and political forces. In some communities ES has been controver- sial, but in Stockton, ES is considered a necessary component of education. Research shows student benefits related to ES, observes Sabac, including improved attendance and grades, higher graduation rates, growth in lit- eracy and critical thinking skills, and the ability to engage in meaning ful conversations about race. "It also brings students together," he says, noting that ES helps foster respect for different cultures and build community and a sense of interconnectedness. Positive feedback from students, educators A 2020 survey of Stockton students enrolled in ES showed 92 percent had developed an increased appreciation for other cultures, 90 percent enjoyed the course, and 85 percent would Four of the 10 principles of ethnic studies, part of a presentation on the 2021-22 scope of the ES program at Stockton Unified School District. Artwork by Favianna Rodriguez 34 "Ethnic studies allows students in Stockton to see themselves in the curriculum and to be proud of their history and culture." —Ed Arimboanga Jr., Stockton Teachers Association

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - December/January 2022