The Times podcast: Israeli-Palestinian conflict hits California’s ethnic studies curriculum

A protester holds a sign
A 2019 rally in Los Angeles to defend a proposed ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 schools in California.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict keeps a cease-fire, its proxy wars continue to rage worldwide. One of the latest battlefronts has been in California classrooms. This past March, the California Department of Education approved an ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 students that schools can adopt voluntarily. It seeks to teach students a more diverse take on history. Not only does the move influence the next generation of students, but this could go on to affect school districts across the country.


But it didn’t come easy. One of the key points of contention? What California students should learn about the fraught history between the Israelis and Palestinians. Our guests are Max Samarov, executive director of research and strategy for Stand With Us, and Samia Shoman, Palestine Teaching Project member and former advisory board member for California’s ethnic studies curriculum program.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: Max Samarov of Stand With Us and Palestine Teaching Project‘s Samia Shoman

More reading:
California approves ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 schools after years of debate
Cease-fire holds during first day as Palestinians, Israelis take stock
Opinion: Is California’s draft ethnic studies curriculum anti-Semitic?

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producers Steven Cuevas and Denise Guerra, executive producer Abbie Fentress Swanson and editor Julia Turner. Our engineer is Mario Diaz and our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.