To the editor: California is finally the first state to make ethnic studies a requirement for high school graduation. Bravo to Governor Gavin Newsom for signing this law.
As an indigenous Maya and father of two teenagers in public schools, I know this will help my children, our history and the contributions of various ethnic groups who built our country and the injustices we have suffered from white “settlers” to get to know. “
While this won’t be the panacea needed to eradicate inequalities in education for Latino students, it will help eradicate racism and provide a platform to share the rich contributions of our ethnic communities to the Golden State to share. It will also help alleviate the general pain people feel with paint because our history has been whitewashed.
I am grateful that our children are finally learning about the good, bad, and ugly of our American history.
Luis Alfredo Vasquez-Ajmac, Redondo Beach
To the editors: So close and yet so far.
The new folklore law is urgently needed. Both white and colored students will benefit from learning how the historical racial barriers faced by certain groups in this country have shaped American society today.
Unfortunately, all public high schools will not have to offer an ethnic course until 2025. This time lag, and the requirement that course material be subject to public review, presents a tremendous opportunity for those who view ethnic studies as divisive to thwart their effectiveness.
These opponents do not admit that systemic racism played a prominent role in the development of this country and that its roots are maintained to this day. It is ironic that the need for an ethnic study requirement is directly proportional to the opposition it creates.
Agustin Medina, South Pasadena
To the Editor, If the purpose of education is indeed to provide each student with the tools to live morally, creatively, and productively, our children and society will be better served by requiring instruction in two fundamental subjects that continue to be ignored be – ethics and human resources finance.
The value of ethnic studies pales in comparison.
Mario Tapanes, the second
To the editor, I’m delighted Newsom has signed the bill that will make ethnic studies mandatory in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
But before economics replaced 10th grade social studies electives in the high school curriculum in the mid-1980s, ethnic studies were present in most high schools in LAUSD. From 1972-84 I taught Mexican American Studies at Theodore Roosevelt High School.
In 1970, United Teachers Los Angeles requested that all LAUSD schools offer ethnic studies with a majority of Mexican-American and African-American students. Teachers have long known the value of ethnic studies to our diverse student body.
John Perez, North Hollywood