Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chicano History and School Textbooks

By Duane Campbell
The Mexican American Digital History Project and a broad group of allies word  for over a year to add Chicano history to the California History/Social Science Framework, the document that determines what goes into textbooks in California.
 Now, the Quality Instructional Materials Commission of the California State Board of Education have posted their proposed revised framework and it includes most of what we proposed. 
The actual proposed course descriptions  are listed as appendices to this meeting agenda.
You need to read the specific appendices for grades 9-12.

For example, the 11th. grade U.S. history would include:
For example, from 1969 through 1971 American Indian activists occupied Alcatraz Island; while in 1972 and 1973, American Indian Movement (AIM) activists took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, D.C. and held a stand-off at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Meanwhile, Chicano/a activists staged student walkouts in high schools around the country like the famed Chicano Moratorium in Los Angeles in 1970, protested the war in Vietnam, and formed a number of organizations to address economic and social inequalities as well as police brutality, and energized cultural pride. Students should learn about the emergence and trajectory of the Chicano civil rights movement by focusing on key groups, events, documents such as the 1968 walkout or “blowout” by approximately 15,000 high school students in East Los Angeles to advocate for improved educational opportunities and protest against racial discrimination, the El Plan de Aztlan, which called for the decolonization of the Mexican American people; El Plan de Santa Barbara, which called for the establishment of Chicano studies; and the formation of the Chicano
 La Raza Unida Party, which sought to challenge mainstream political parties. California activists like Harvey Milk and Cleve Jones were part of a broader movement that emerged in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots,

Students can study recent immigration to California, foreshadowing their studies on immigration in eleventh grade United States history. Students can analyze push and pull factors that contributed to shifting immigration patterns, but they should also learn about changes in immigration policy. Propositions 187, 209, and 227 attacked illegal immigration, affirmative action, and bilingual education. While all but one provision of Proposition 187 was blocked by federal courts, throughout the 1990s and even more so after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress provided for increased border enforcement. By the 2000s the status of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigration became a national political discussion. In California Latino/as became the largest ethnic group in 2010, and Latino/a children comprised more than 51% of public schools.  It was within this context that the Latino/a community became increasingly politically active.

The next steps are for this draft to be reviewed again   ( Nov 18/19 ) and then for it to be sent out for field review.
Our effort was to change the document before it went out to review.  It is very difficult to achieve changes once the QIMC adopts the draft.
So, we have won the day, but work remains to be done. We need to monitor that these changes are accepted.  But, as Cesar Chavez taught, celebrate your victories.
It is possible that some readers of this post may want to achieve more.  That is fine.  We have made no commitments to not push for more.  Please read the drafts and submit your proposals  directly to the QIM Commission.
This is a breakthrough on an effort we have been working on each revision since 1986.   Thank all of you who assisted.  This will change the textbooks in California at the next adoption.
For a detailed history of the effort, see here
If you have questions or comments, contact Duane Campbell of the Mexican American Digital History project in Sacramento at
Here are the next steps.
As far a future hearings on the draft HSS Framework, you can give public comment at the November 19–20, 2015, Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) meeting —Also, public comment can be submitted during the 60-day draft HSS Framework public review and comment period (January–February 2016). The State Board of Education (SBE) will hold a public hearing at its May 2016 meeting before it takes action on the draft HSS Framework. The IQC and SBE meeting will be held in Sacramento at the California Department of Education (CDE) building.

In addition, public comment can be  submitted to the HSS mailbox at or IQC mailbox at

For readers who worked on the effort to pass the Ethnic Studies bill. AB 101. Note that what the governor said in his veto message was, the best place to achieve the goals of AB 101 is to direct changes to the HSS Framework.  La lucha sigue !

Paso a paso.
Duane Campbell

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