AirTalk for July 8, 2014

El Rancho Unified's new curriculum requirement revives debate over role of ethnic studies

El Rancho High School counselor Delia Madera in her office.

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

El Rancho High School counselor Delia Madera in her office. The high school has become the first in the state to require ethnic studies as a requirement for graduation.

The El Rancho Unified School District has voted to require ethnic studies courses as a requirement for graduation, becoming the first school district in the state to do so. The requirement goes into effect in the 2015-16 school year.

The change won't affect the total number of credits a student needs to complete before graduation. The ethnic studies requirement will replace a geography requirement.    

The move came as California lawmakers consider a bill seeking to authorize a State Commission to study the implementation of ethnic studies in public high schools. AB 1750, introduced by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) in February, is awaiting senate approval.

Guests:

Jose Lara, Vice President of the El Rancho Board of Education who co-sponsored the proposal

David Lehrer, President of Community Advocates, Inc.,  nonprofit organization that advocates innovative approaches to human relations and race relations in Los Angeles city and county


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