Genocide to Be Included in California High School Exams

SACRAMENTO–The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region announced Thursday the adoption of several important measures and initiatives which will provide California High School students with greater understanding of the history and lessons of the Armenian Genocide.

The California State Board of Education approved the teaching of the history and lessons of the Armenian Genocide to high school students through the adoption of the "History and Social Science Content Standards for Grades K-12." The content standards asks teachers to encourage students to analyze the causes and course of the First World War in terms of five criteria including the "human rights and genocide–including the Ottoman government’s actions against Armenian citizens."

In addition–a question about the Armenian Genocide will be included in California’s standardized assessment exams–an exit examination of roughly 50 questions adapted to comply with the state’s specific curriculum requiremen’s and designed to assist California schools in determining whether a student is prepared to advance to the next grade level. The California examination–referred to as the augmented Stanford-Nine exam–is expected to be adopted in California schools in the very near future.

The approval of the content standards and the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the augmented Stanford-Nine test culminated years of efforts by legislators–such as Scott Wildman–Chuck Poochigian–Jackie Speier and Adam Schiff–the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin–and the Armenian National Committee–to alert and educate the State Board of Education of the need to teach the Armenian Genocide in California’s public schools.

In a related item–State Assemblyman Scott Wildman is working to republish and distribute the Model Curriculum for Human Rights and Genocide throughout the Glendale Unified School District for use in Glendale’s Public High Schools. The model curriculum–first published in 1988–was developed pursuant to California State Assembly Bill 1273–passed in 1985–which mandated the State Board of Education prepare a model curriculum for distribution to school districts throughout California.

"These important steps cementing the Armenian Genocide within California’s educational curriculum and standardized assessment testing will help rid our educational system of the Turkish Government’s attempts to distort and manipulate what is taught to our school children," stated ANCA-WR Board Member–Steven Dadaian–"The Genocide will finally take its rightful place in high school history classes and for that we are thankful to our friends in the California State Legislature–Department of Education and–of course–the many Armenian American educators and activists who have doggedly pursued this issue," concluded Dadaian.

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