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Ethnic Studies and social justice standards FAQ

Dear Los Alamitos Unified School District Staff, Families and Community,

On Tuesday, April 27th, we are bringing forward to the Board of Education the curriculum for our new Ethnic Studies course at Los Alamitos High School. This new course is available as an elective-option for Junior and Senior students, who are currently enrolled or have previously completed a year-long US History course, to satisfy a “g” requirement for college admission.

Recently, special interest groups with their own agendas have attempted to discredit this course by spreading misleading and false information about the intent, design, and learning outcomes of the course. At a non-District sponsored, Town Hall Meeting last week held at Cornerstone Church in Long Beach, these groups tried to connect the controversial concept of Critical Race Theory to our course. The Town Hall had fewer than 30 self-identified, District families in attendance. At the meeting the groups alleged that our Ethnic Studies course is aimed at “white shaming” students, which is unfounded and inaccurate. It is shameful and deceitful to imply that Los Al Unified is attempting to pit students of differing ethnicities and racial backgrounds against one another. Our intent is to bring students and communities with diverse backgrounds together by affirming their identities, stories, and contributions.

To clarify the issues and provide accurate information to our District community, we have developed a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that is available on our website. We encourage you to access the FAQ on the front page of our website at www.losal.org, which explains the Ethnic Studies course and answers common questions about our efforts to incorporate the Social Justice Standards and Culturally Responsive Instruction into our teaching approach.

The Social Justice Standards are guideposts for teachers and administrators, which are developmentally designed to support current classroom learning and grade level curriculum. Culturally Responsive Instruction prepares teachers to analyze how they are reflecting concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their instructional delivery.

We appreciate your support and understanding as we strive to prepare our students for a diverse and global future.

This article was written by Andrew Pulver, Ed.D, Superintendent of Los Alamitos Unified School District.