BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern High School District leaders said its ethnic studies course will not include Critical Race Theory.
KHSD trustees will meet Monday afternoon to review the ethnic studies curriculum which “has been in the works for nearly a year,” per the district.
In essence, Critical Race Theory says race is socially constructed, arguing that many American systems, including the legal, education, and economic systems are built on racism, but KHSD Board President Jeff Flores said the district’s ethnic studies curriculum will have nothing to do with Critical Race Theory. Instead he said the curriculum will include a “celebration of the cultures in Kern County and the American experience.
The curriculum will focus on the following subgroups:
- Native Americans
- African Americans
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
KHSD’s curriculum, according to Flores, is under development because of a bill in the legislature. If signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the legislation would require high school students to take an ethnic studies course to graduate. KHSD wants to be prepared and stay ahead should the bill become law, Flores said, adding the new curriculum will focus on individualism, freedom, and equality.
“Our goal is it will bring students of diverse backgrounds together and unite communities. It can only help build up that school climate on our campuses. That is good,” said Kern High School District Assistant Superintendent of Schools Brenda Lewis, Ed.D.
Other educational programs, including the CSU system, already requires students take one ethnic studies course to graduate.