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Gender and ethnic studies supported

As an educator and an ever-curious reader, I know how LITTLE I know! Every new point of view that I encounter teaches me that what I understood to be true yesterday might be called into question today. Sure, it’s daunting to accept that my understanding of my world, my nation, and my own history is partial and imperfect — but then again, that understanding also fuels and inspires my life-long learning — the most critical credential of a solid education.

This is why I fully support the efforts of Santa Maria teachers, parents, and students to secure board approval from the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District for Ethnic and Gender Studies requirements. All students at our high schools — of all ethnicities, races, genders, and sexualities — deserve an education that is broadly culturally relevant and that informs, inspires, and challenges them. Educational research has already confirmed that Gender & Ethnic Studies courses improve all students’ performance in almost every category — from graduation rates to critical thinking to college acceptance.

Six years ago, California approved the FAIR Act (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act). This year, the California Assembly is considering AB 2772, which would make a Gender & Ethnic Studies course a requirement for high school graduation, alongside required courses in more familiar disciplines. These legislative efforts are great news, confirming that Californians are committed to making our children as well-prepared for the 21st century as students in Oregon and Indiana, states where Gender & Ethnic Studies requirements are already on the books.

As a Californian educated in public schools from kindergarten to graduate school, I am proud of the efforts that Santa Maria’s Ethnic and Gender Studies Advisory Group has made to put this essential reform on the agenda in our city. It reminds us all that there is always more to learn.

Kate Adams

Santa Maria

Discouraging illegal entry

Now is the time to call one of Congressman Salud Carbajal’s offices and inform him that his opposition to E-Verify will encourage more future illegal immigration, because there will be no penalty for coming here  to work  illegally.

Also the H-2A ag workers visa program needs to be cleaned up so farmers won’t have a valid excuse not to use it.

Richard Dydell

Santa Maria

 

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