Despite the controversy and outrage of parents and educators across the state, last week the California Board of Education approved a statewide ethnic studies curriculum for high schools, known as Critical Race Theory Curriculum, with board members voting unanimously 11-0 in favor of the new lesson plans. The 900-page Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum was ultimately passed in what appeared to be somewhat of a compromise, leaving opponents and proponents dissatisfied and angry.
“With more than 7,000 comments submitted in January-February, letters opposing the Critical ES approach and Critical Race Theory (CRT) comprised the #1 concern about the ESMC,” the Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies said on its website. “However, the CDE ignored nearly all of the more than 100 pages of edits submitted by organizations advocating to shift the underlying Critical Ethnic Studies focus to a Constructive Ethnic Studies approach.”
The Globe spoke with a long-time education consultant about California’s Critical Race Theory Curriculum hearing Thursday, who asked to comment anonymously over concerns of retribution. She explained that the ethnic studies “purists” are opposed to this model curriculum because they say it does not clearly abide to what ethnic studies is supposed to be: “anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and anti-capitalism.” Or, as one person in opposition said, ethnic studies must override the “racist, colonial, and capitalist American” perspective. “The public comments at the hearing were telling,” she said.
The purists also say the ethnic studies curriculum has been “watered-down” by “right-wing white supremacists.” Apparently, the term “right-wing” was removed by the commission, and the purists are ticked, the consultant said.
Board Member Sue Burr also noted, before the unanimous vote in the affirmative, that this model curriculum is not mandatory. The education consultant said while it may not be mandatory, Assemblyman Jose Medina authored AB 101 to make “ethnic studies” a graduation requirement. “So, not mandatory YET is more like it,” the consultant said. This bill will be heard Wednesday, March 24 at 9:00AM. The link to watch the hearing is here.
Radical leftist labor leader “Dolores Huerta spoke and equated conservatives in Kern county to racists, noting the high expulsion rate of students of color in the county, and how her work has reduced that.” Except, as the education consultant said, students don’t get expelled for color…they get expelled for behavior. “And if they’ve successfully reduced expulsions, why the need for the curriculum?”
- Having a more robust history – as mentioned by a few speakers – is great.
- The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) is NOT that and I respectfully ask that you REJECT it.
- The ESMC is loaded with Marxist ideology, is already sewing deep divisions among peoples, and generally maligns people of European/UK descent, European/UK cultures, and Christianity.
- This does not “heal” societies or help build community.
This last sentence was in response to to someone who suggested that this is what ethnic studies is about, who also suggested, to paraphrase, that if people found it divisive that was their problem, the consultant said.
“As previous members of the public have noted, the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum also includes chants that appeal to various gods, including an Aztec God of human sacrifice and cannibalism,” she said.But as she noted, “If ‘prayer’ is no longer allowed in public schools, how this ok? This would train Christian and Jewish children to violate the 1st Commandment and commit a horrible offense against Almighty God.”
“Also, Dolores Huerta equated conservatism with racism/white supremacy, in her comments” the consultant said. “However, being Conservative, or someone of European decent, or a Christian does not make someone racist or a white supremacist. Conservatives identify with many different races and cultures, as do Christians.”
A few other members of the public gave excellent explanations of the problem with using the “lens” of Critical Race Theory, she said. “One caller, toward the end of the day, said that he had read the entirety of the model curriculum and applauded to the changes made by IQC/CDE staff (the ones the purists hate), but that the model is still awful for all the main reasons: Marxist, divisive, etc., etc…”
“If America’s traditional ‘narratives’ are designed to encourage social mobility and prosperity, California’s proposed Marxist narratives are designed to encourage intergroup conflict and perpetual upheaval in existing institutions. That’s explicit in sample assignments, such as drafting a ‘manifesto’ of demands for the Third World Liberation Front or ‘implementing a systematized campaign for social justice at their school.’”
“Despite lingering tensions after the lengthy hearing, as evidenced by more than 150 callers pleading before the board for hours on Thursday not to pass the curriculum due to charges that it was anti-Asian, anti-Jewish, and anti-Arab, the 900-page Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum was ultimately passed unanimously by the California Board of Education.”
Larry Sand and Lia Rensin, sum up what’s wrong with California’s ethnic studies in California’s draft ethnic studies curriculum still isn’t right, published in the Orange County Register March 16, 2021:
“Instead of ensuring that students learn how to critically analyze opposing viewpoints and make informed decisions, the CDE has determined that the only way to teach our children ethnic studies is to indoctrinate them into this victim/oppressor model. The state is wasting this opportunity to increase understanding and empathy among various ethnic groups, instead remaining tone-deaf to heartfelt concerns raised by students, teachers, parents and community members.”
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