Final Reminder: Protect and improve the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

Deadline to submit public comments is August 15
From February to April 2019, the CA Department of Education convened an ethnic studies advisory committee to draft a K-12 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. The curriculum has been out for public comments since June 2019.
Protect ethnic studies.
While the model curriculum is available for public comments, it has also been under attack. Media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Breitbart, and the Los Angeles Times have inaccurately reported on the impact ethnic studies courses would have on California high school students. Students, faculty, families, and communities have fought extensively for ethnic studies to be a legitimate academic discipline. We have fought hard for the past 50 years, and we need your support to ensure that California’s Department of Education Instructional Quality Commission protects and progresses in implementing ethnic studies in all of California’s public schools.
Improve the curriculum.
In addition to protecting ethnic studies, the model curriculum is also in need of your feedback. In our review, many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are omitted, including the histories of Iu-Mien, Japanese, Korean, Lao, South Asian, and Vietnamese Americans. There is only a mention of the impact of deportation in the Cambodian community, Hmong American gender dynamics, United Farm Workers, and addressing the model minority myth. California’s K-12 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum must be inclusive and comprehensive of all Californians.  Submit a public comment to the CA Department of Education to ensure that the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is reflective of California’s diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences.

For more information, please contact Nkauj Iab Yang at

Take action: Protect ethnic studies and improve the curriculum!

1. Protect ethnic studies: Send an email to by August 15 urging the California Department of Education to protect ethnic studies and ensure that all students have the right to learn about their own histories and each other’s histories in order to deepen their critical analysis of the sociopolitical realities in which they live. Please feel free to use SEARAC’s comment as a template.
2. Improve the curriculum: Download and review the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum here. At the bottom of the site, there are a variety of links; the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is Chapter 2: Sample Course Models.
  • Review the model curriculum and note any feedback/recommendations. For your reference, the Asian American section goes from pages 149 – 197and the Pacific Islander section goes from pages 288 – 300 (end of the document).
  • Download the Public Input Template (also on the website), fill it out using Microsoft Office, and submit it as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx) via email to by August 15.
Note: The most effective comments are unique and request a specific and actionable request (e.g. requesting the addition of a specific reading or historical figure, removing harmful language).