1st US ethnic studies plan called anti-Semitic, faces update

Ben Allen, Tony ThurmondThe Associated Press
Democratic state Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica, center, speaks beside Superintendent Tony Thurmond, right, at a news conference Wednesday Aug. 14, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. California's public education chief is seeking changes to what would be the nation's first statewide ethnic studies curriculum. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said Wednesday that he will recommend amendments to better reflect the contributions of Jewish Americans while removing portions that the California Legislative Jewish Caucus found objectionable. (AP Photo/Don Thompson)

The head of California public schools wants to change what would be the nation's first statewide ethnic studies curriculum after Jewish lawmakers complained that the proposed lessons are anti-Semitic.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said Wednesday that he will recommend removing sections that the California Legislative Jewish Caucus finds objectionable.

Caucus members say the proposed curriculum reflects an anti-Jewish bias and reinforces negative stereotypes while singling out Israel for criticism.

The proposal went to a Board of Education advisory commission in May, and it's seeking public comments through Thursday.

The curriculum has drawn other criticism, including from a conservative researcher who says it lumps in capitalism with racism and white supremacy.