Home>Articles>California’s Once Exceptional Public Education Shattered by Dogmatic Extremists

California’s Once Exceptional Public Education Shattered by Dogmatic Extremists

Critical race theory, one-sided, biased curricula, teachers unions

By Katy Grimes, May 17, 2021 7:57 am

Only half of public school students in California meet the state standards in English, and only 40 percent are proficient in math, says Lance Izumi, the Senior Director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute. Even worse, only 10 percent of African-American eighth graders scored at the proficient level on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress math and reading tests.

In 2017,  Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to permanently repeal the high school exit exam.

Just last week, the University of California announced that it has dropped SAT and ACT scores for admission.

Last year, the California Supreme Court issued an order to permanently lower the passing score for the state’s bar exam by 50 points.

The public school system is failing California’s kids Kindergarten through university.

Instead of focusing on helping the other 50-60 percent of kids learn English and math, California policy makers, curriculum writers and teachers are drilling into the heads of kids the notion that the United States was founded on white supremacy and oppression, and that these forces still exist and are still at the core of American society.

This is critical race theory.

“No other education topic has fomented greater concern among parents than the indoctrination going on in the nation’s classrooms,” Izumi says.

Lance Izumi. (Photo: Katy Grimes, screen capture, Fox News)

Parents are outraged and showing up in droves at school board meetings to this counter school indoctrination. Parents are filing lawsuits against classroom indoctrination. They are pushing governors to ban CRT. “In Idaho, Gov, Brad Little recently signed a first-in-the-nation law preventing public schools from compelling students to, among other things, affirm ‘that individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin,’” Izumi said.

But this latest indoctrination isn’t an isolated incident. Izumi authored The Corrupt Classroom in 2017, which exposed teachers politicking in their classrooms, and one-sided, biased curricula.

Izumi said it is also important to understand the influence of schools of education, which train prospective teachers, on the political and ideological leanings of teachers. He explains:

Dr. Greg Forster, Friedman Fellow at the school-choice organization EdChoice and a top education researcher, last year wrote that university education schools indoctrinate future teachers in left-wing ideology.

“Peruse the course catalog of any major education school, or read the Twitter feeds of the professors,” observes Forster, and you will “find yourself swimming in an ocean of hard-left ideology: ‘critical theory’ that says there is no truth, only power; ‘intersectionality’ that says you’re not allowed to be right about anything unless you’re right (that is, left) about everything; cheerleading for every fashionable left-leaning cause.”

Forster notes, “The central concept in the ideology that rules education schools, with an iron fist, is that real pedagogy means the liberation of the oppressed.”

Forster emphasizes that in the prevailing worldview at education schools, “Liberation means left-wingery because left-wingery means liberation.”

Chris Rufo has written extensively about critical race theory. In an interview with the Atlantic, he says his recent investigative reporting “revealed the rotten fruits of critical race theory in education:”

  • a California public school forcing first-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege”;
  • a Missouri middle school forcing teachers to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix”;
  • a Buffalo public school curriculum teaching that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism”;
  • a San Diego public school training claiming that white teachers are guilty of “spirit murdering” black children;
  • a New York City public school principal telling white parents they must become “white traitors” and advocate for “white abolition.”

Izumi says when parents feel that their children are being indoctrinated, victimized or shortchanged in their learning, they should have the right and the tools to exit the public school system for educational alternatives that better meet their children’s needs. But in blue states, this appears to be airy hope, which is why the ultimate option for parents to control their children’s education is school choice and homeschooling, Izumi says.

The best answer to political indoctrination in regular public schools is to ensure school choice for all parents and their children. In 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation creating Family Empowerment Scholarships that could be used by low-income and middle-class families to pay for tuition at private schools, Izumi said.

Conversely, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation in 2019 giving school boards new rationales for disapproving proposed charter schools, including negative fiscal impact of a charter on the school district, duplication of programs at the regular public schools, and determination that the charter is “unlikely to serve the interests of the entire community.” The goal and end result is to curtail the growth of charter schools.

Izumi noted, “While Governor Gavin Newsom kowtowed to the teacher unions, Governor DeSantis signed the FES bill into law saying, ‘I personally believe, as a matter of philosophy, that parents know what’s best for their kids.’”

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20 thoughts on “California’s Once Exceptional Public Education Shattered by Dogmatic Extremists

  1. Let’s just lower the standards, make tests easier, get rid of standardized testing, give all an “A” for effort instead of asking teachers to teach! Let’s take away opportunities for geniuses that need the challenge so things are equitable. Lets make a future world of dummies to live off the government and vote Democrat! Yay!

    1. Yes, Stacy, it’s ridiculous. But because the unacceptable situation of CA education has been fully exposed this past Year of COVID there is a growing movement for school choice and, with any luck, we’ll see a grass-roots initiative on school choice options on 2022’s ballot. Sure seems as though parents are more than ready to use their power to upend this unhealthy and destructive mess of a system once and for all. Fingers crossed.

      1. Get involved! Join California School Choice Foundation. Go to http://www.californiaschoolchoice.org/
        In the meantime, get your kids out of public school. Just when you think it can’t get any worse than it is today, they implement a critical race theory and BLM curriculum. Remember, every day that your kid is enrolled, the public school gets allocated funding. Get out now. What do you have to lose? Really?

        1. I think are Bay Area parochial schools are mostly in lockstep with public schools. We will run out of choices soon.

    2. 100% percent agree, Stacy.
      …and Queeg get ready for $20.00 hamburgers!

      Meanwhile, China and Belgium, Sweden will continue to educate their students and California students will be left in the dust.

  2. Finally, parents are witnessing the nonsense that public education is actually doing, it is not reading/writing/arithmetic anymore. I continue to hope more parents are either able to homeschool or place in a private/charter school and start pushing back on the teachers unions.

  3. This is teaching the world that the only way to be certain that the professional you hire is competent is to hire a white male.

  4. Neanderthals
    We desperately need service workers, so hands off….dumb em down….they need Commissar guidance….but oh…they want to feed a family of four…..got the answer…..child government income, universal income, income income….
    Now we demand….cut the price of the $15.00 dollar hamburger…..

  5. I was educated in California public secondary schools in the 60’s and 70s. During this time, the goal was to advance the education of all students to the best of their abilities and personal ambitions. I was one of those students who did not have much academic guidance. In elementary school I was placed with students of lower academic achievement; however, then came Mrs. Paterno and Mrs. Bradley. In middle school they enabled me to improve my reading, comprehension and English skills. Their concern for all students were apparent and, at least in my case, very meaningful and motivating. Upon entering high school, my academic placement advanced based upon my standardized test scores. I later graduated college and productively work in high tech.
    Mrs. Paterno and Mrs. Bradley and many other teachers in this era truly enhanced the lives students through education. The present teacher’s union and many of my children’s teachers I have met over the years are the true “spirit killers”. Just look at the current academic test score performance of California students. The solution… eliminate exit and standard exams and reduce passing scores. In my opinion, it is Pure Evil to intentionally doom the individual and society to ignorance and poverty. This is what public education has become in California.

    1. I agree with you that what is happening in public education in this state is Pure Evil.
      And God Bless Mrs. Paterno and Mrs. Bradley.

  6. For students with few financial resources, attending Junior College for a couple years and taking the proper courses to get credit for the University you would like to ultimately attend, is a great way to get a 4 year degree. Many of the unqualified students who were accepted into universities in their freshman year, will be dropping out by their sophomore year and you will be able to take their place. This has been statistically documented in the California JC and UC college system.

    1. @Mike Dougherty, this was my path to a four year institution. I doubt I would have been successful without my community college experience.

  7. Hate to be a buzzkill, but do you really think the Democrats in charge of local election boards will allow any actual votes by CA citizens to derail their agenda? Just keep being nice and follow the rules like you’ve done for the past 40 years. Heaven forbid we should be too confrontational!

  8. I attended high school, college and graduate school in Utah in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Mind you, Utah is a state that many Californians characterize as full of Neanderthals. However, even in a public high school in the 60’s the expectations of Utah students were clear and understood by everyone, even the lousy students. If you were doing poor or failing work, you would get D’s and F’s, period. Hindsight has proven that my Utah education was excellent. This is corroborated by the fact that one of my fellow employees was educated at the same time in a different Utah high school. He is bright, well written and has a broad understanding of many subjects. Conversely, some of my California educated co-workers have worse writing skills than I had in the seventh grade. I do not attribute this to my brilliance. I’m smart about some things, but I’m no genius. I attribute the disparity to completely different educational standards.

    1. @Fed Up, I have enjoyed working and meeting people from Utah. All were extremely nice, family oriented, and yes, smart.

  9. Two things:
    1.Teachers unions want open borders to fill their failing classrooms, just to keep the teacher union dues flowing.

    2. Teachers unions pressured higher ed to get rid of all objective testing for college preparedness, because California “high school grads” were testing so badly every year, while at the same time K-12 teachers unions bragged they were increasing high school graduation rates.

  10. The left gets what they want and replaces your children with foreigners while no one opposes them, same song the last 25 years+. Most California kids aren’t American, are going to be welfare burdens anyway, they don’t need to do math, just vote and consume.

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