Oakland Loves Ethnic Studies

Oakland Unified School District has voted to offer ethnic studies courses to high school students. Full inclusion of the courses will be finalized within three years for all high schools in the district.

A statewide initiative for an ethnic studies curriculum was vetoed this year by Governor Brown, but Oakland is not the first school district to include these courses.

Last year the San Francisco Unified school board also approved inclusion of ethnic studies courses for high schools with significant positive results for students. District officials in San Francisco have cited the program as the source for less unexcused absences and higher grade point averages for students.

The school board at OUSD hopes to replicate this success.

“Through ethnic studies, they have such a better, more critical understanding of how society functions, both currently and historically, that is also very, very empowering,” said Leona Kwon, an ethnic studies teacher at Castlemont High School.

Some aspects of the policy still need to be discussed as things move forward, such as whether or not it will be a required course. But for now, students and teachers seem to enjoy the idea of providing courses like this at a high school level.

Read more at Oakland North



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