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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #20-83
October 2, 2020
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Launch of Second Ethnic Studies Virtual Series and Creation of Online Resources for Teachers in Distance Learning

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Thursday that the California Department of Education (CDE) will build on the success of this summer’s ethnic studies virtual classroom series with the launch of a second round of programming that will be broadcast live for thousands of students, families, and educators—and be provided to teachers across California as a package of online lessons that can be used in distance learning.

As the nation is reckoning with its history of systemic racism, educators are seeking ways to make public school a place where students can gain a more complete understanding of the contributions and experiences of our country’s historically marginalized communities. State Superintendent Thurmond said that by building out a new and more comprehensive set of virtual lessons focused on the four core disciplines of ethnic studies—African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicano Latino Studies, and Native American Studies—teachers can begin introducing this instruction right away.

“Our students of color cannot wait additional years to see their stories represented in the classroom when they have already waited generations. Our students deserve better than to put their experiences on hold until there is the political appetite to embrace them,” Thurmond said. “Students and teachers have called for ethnic studies because education can provide a clear path to a more just society. At a time when our own president cannot clearly denounce white supremacy and our state and nation are crying out for racial justice, our teachers want to start leading these critical conversations in the classroom right now. I am proud to launch this new resource so they can do this work immediately.”

The next round of virtual ethnic studies sessions will feature live interactions between ethnic studies scholars and students demonstrating lesson plans broadcast on the CDE’s social media accounts. Dates will be announced to school districts in the coming days.

After the live broadcasts, the archived videos will be posted on the CDE website with example lesson plans and sent to all school districts in California as a resource for any teacher that wants to use them as distance learning modules.

This resource is a continuation of the State Superintendent’s virtual classroom program that began in July as a four-part series featuring civil rights icons, prominent ethnic studies instructors, and state leaders that engaged a diverse cross-section of students across California in the four core disciplines of ethnic studies.

The virtual classroom series may be found on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab.

July 7 virtual classroom on African American Studies External link opens in new window or tab.

July 14 virtual classroom on Chicano Latino American Studies External link opens in new window or tab.

July 21 virtual classroom on Asian American Studies External link opens in new window or tab.

July 28 virtual classroom on Indigenous Studies External link opens in new window or tab.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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