California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) told the Jewish News of Northern California (J.) in an interview published on Aug. 23 that the proposed Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) “will never see the light of day.”
Various Jewish groups, as well as the Beverly Hills City Council, have condemned the curriculum for its favorable portrayal of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and not properly addressing the issue of anti-Semitism, among other criticisms.
Newsom told the J, “We are united in our resolve to make sure the advisory committee draft is only that, a draft, that will be substantially amended. And let me also apologize on behalf of the state for the anxiety that this produced. It was offensive in so many ways, particularly to the Jewish community.”
American Jewish Committee Los Angeles thanked Newsom on Facebook.
California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond similarly said in an Aug. 14 press conference that the ESMC needs to be more balanced regarding Israel.
“There should be no reference to the creation of anyone’s homeland as being catastrophic,” Thurmond said. “There’s no place for that in public education.”
He also said that Jews needed to be included in the ESMC because they’re “being attacked at this time in synagogues.”
On Aug. 12, the State Board of Education announced in a statement that the drafted ESMC “needs to be substantially redesigned” and “a new draft will be developed for State Board of Education review and potential approval.”
Beverly Hills City Councilmember Julian Gold called for all 18 members of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to be recalled at an Aug. 20 city council meeting.
“For them to come up with this sort of divisive, racist propaganda and promote this as curriculum in the state is beyond disgusting,” Gold said. “It’s malpractice. It’s malfeasance. They deserve to go, all of them. And if the governor doesn’t do it, then he deserves to go too.”