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Commentary: The time has come for ethnic studies at LAUSD

LA School Report | December 16, 2014

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Los-Angeles-Times-logoVia Los Angeles Times | By Sandy Banks

An ethnic studies course changed my life when I was a teenager — though not in the way that today’s opponents of ethnic studies seem to fear.

It didn’t teach me to feel like a victim, to despise America or to resent white people. I learned that history doesn’t have to be boring, and that you may have to dig deep beneath the surface to find the truth in a story.

I was a high school junior in 1971, trying to avoid another mind-numbing history course heavy on names, dates and battles. A social studies teacher I liked persuaded me to enroll in her new class. She was a rabble-rousing feminist, a Russian Jew who’d offered to teach “Black History” on a campus where almost every student was black.

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