APISBMA is requesting Letter of Support from Organizations by 3/11 at 8 pm.
Deadline for Letter of Support to the State Board of Education is 3/12 at noon.
Please copy and paste the following letter template into your email, revise, and send email to:
State Board of Education
California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
March 12, 2021
Honorable Members of the State Board of Education,
[Insert personal / organizational introduction]
[Name or organization] supports the Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association (APISBMA) position that the final draft of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) be approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) on March 18, 2021. APISBMA’s key priorities include:
The story of the AAPI community is not monolithic. (1) In the United States, the AAPI community consists of about 50 ethnic groups with over 100 languages, and the “Asian Americans and the Model Minority Myth” lesson is foundational in highlighting that diversity and fostering a sense of belonging. (2) AAPI course outlines are the least represented in existing ethnic studies curricula that are housed in Chapter 6: UC Approved Course Outlines, thus their inclusion in Chapter 4: Sample Lessons and Topics is critical to ensure educators have an array of high-quality tools to build Ethnic Studies courses. (3)
APISBMA also maintains that AAPI Studies in Chapters 3,4,5, and 6 be approved. Furthermore, APISBMA endorses all suggestions by the California Department Education to the AAPI Studies with the following revisions to improve clarity:
In the recommended edits to the ESMC draft, the California Department of Education classifies Jewish American Studies within AAPI Studies. While some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders may identify as Jewish Americans, not all Jewish Americans are Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. Including Jewish American Studies as a subfield of AAPI Studies will be confusing to students, educators, and the broader community.
We also urge the State Board of Education and the California State Legislature to take the following steps to improve Ethnic Studies:
[insert personal / organizational story]
“Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies” is an indispensable asset to the teaching of Ethnic Studies. [We / I] join local, statewide, and national organizations in support of the final approval of the ESMC; with the above edits to the instructional guidance, [we / I] believe California students will soon experience a curriculum that better represents the diversity of our communities and of our state. Please adopt the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Draft at the conclusion of the March 16th-18th meeting.
(1) According to AAPI data, 2/3rds of AAPIs identify with their specific ethnicity and country of origin, so the inclusion of sample lessons from a broad cross section of ethnic groups enables individual school districts to incorporate lessons that are most relevant to their local community. https://aapidata.com/
(3) For example, the lesson plan on South Asian American Studies is strengthened by its existing internationalist focus on socio-economic issues, identity, religion, culture, racism, immigration reform and legislation, and political contributions to anti-imperial and anti-colonial movements. For example, the first Asian American U.S. Congressperson, Dalip Singh Saund, was also a member of the anti-colonial Ghadar Party, formed in the early 1900s in California, which advocated for India's independence from British rule.