(JNS) An advisory board to California’s board of education is scheduled to vote next week on recommended changes to the state’s proposed ethnic-studies curriculum.
The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) is expected to vote on the recommended changes by the California Department of Education (CDE) at a meeting on Nov. 18.
Following the vote will be a 45-day period where concerned citizens can submit additional feedback to CDE ahead of the scheduled approval date of the ethnic-studies curriculum next March.
These recommended changes came in response to Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressing objections over the original draft curriculum for containing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content, in addition to not addressing issues of anti-Semitism or including Jewish Americans.
The recommended changes include lessons on anti-Semitism, Jewish Americans, Jewish Middle Eastern Americans and intersectional identities.
At a Nov. 6 press conference, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who has been circulated as a possible U.S. secretary of education in the upcoming Biden administration, said “as we talk about the rise of white supremacy, we must talk about the increase in hate acts and bigotry against the Jewish community, the high level of anti-Semitism that we see.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, vetoed a bill last month that would make ethnic-studies courses a high school graduation requirement and cited the ongoing pushback over the curriculum.
StandWithUs expressed support for the recommendations but also concern about no commitment by state education officials “to adding a comprehensive definition of anti-Semitism in all its forms,” in addition to the pressure from anti-Israel activists.