New research shows broad academic benefits for students taking ethnic studies classes – NPR News

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January 6, 2017
“New research shows broad academic benefits for students taking ethnic studies classes”


Public school districts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach and about a dozen others have started ethnic studies classes in recent years.

But they’ve done so without a key ingredient: academic research that shows how students are benefitting from those programs.

Now, a new study of an ethnic studies program in San Francisco public schools is shedding light on how the new classes may be helping students. 

“There’s no research out there that has looked at this kind of analysis, doing this kind of research in California at all,” said U.C. Irvine education professor Emily Penner, the lead researcher of the ethnic studies program.

Penner studied the effect of ethnic studies classes on 1,400 struggling students in San Francisco schools over four years.

“The effect of that program was a positive and large increase in GPA and credits and attendance by the end of the year,” she said.


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