More money, no reforms, no school choice expansion equals continued poor achievement by students. ~Lance Izumi
While the California Department of Education has released an unintelligible draft of ethnic studies gibberish, California “education leaders” are pushing a bill for a 2020 initiative that would tax the wealthiest Californians and corporations to raise an additional $11 billion annually for schools. Yet, the 60 percent increase in Kindergarten through 12th grade spending in California’s schools since 2011 hasn’t made a difference in student performance, California Globe recently reported.
The left claims this proposed tax is “building off recent polls showing strong voter support to boost K-12 spending.”
“Sure, they want to raise all that money, but for what?” Lance Izumi said. “To pay for their unfunded pensions? For retiree health benefits? Sixty percent of Los Angeles Unified School District’s budget goes to pensions, benefits and special education.”
“It will be more money down a rat hole with little benefit for kids,” Izumi added. He’s the senior director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute and author of the new book Choosing Diversity: How Charter Schools Promote Diverse Learning Models and Meet the Diverse Needs of Parents and Children, “Is the CSBA talking about enacting reforms based on the Vergara case (tenure, seniority, dismissal)? Of course not. Are they willing to give kids more school choice? Of course not. More money, no reforms, no school choice expansion equals continued poor achievement by students. And that’s why the teacher unions want to eliminate testing—because test scores almost always show that when they get more money it almost never ends up improving student performance.”
Izumi is right.
Here’s a sample of the draft 2020 Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which would replace a semester of geography:
Defining Ethnic Studies
At its core, the field of Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with an emphasis on experiences of people of color in the United States. Further, it is the xdisciplinary, loving, and critical praxis of holistic humanity – as educational and racial justice. It is from communities of color and our intergenerational worldviews, memories, experiences, identities, narratives, and voices. It is the study of intersectional and ancestral roots, coloniality, hegemony, and a dignified world where many worlds fit, for present and future generations.
The field critically grapples with the various power structures and forms of oppression, including, but not limited to, white supremacy, race and racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia, that continue to impact the social, emotional, cultural, economic, and political experiences of Native People/s and people of color.
Ethnic Studies is xdisciplinary, in that it variously takes the forms of being interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, undisciplinary, and intradisciplinary. As such, it can grow its original language to serve these needs with purposeful respellings of terms, including history as herstory and women as womxn, connecting with a gender and sexuality lens, along with a socioeconomic class lens at three of its intersections. Terms utilized throughout this document, which may be unfamiliar to new practitioners of the field, are defined in the glossary.
Dan Walters reports the Legislature’s Jewish caucus, all Democrats, took umbrage with the draft’s section on “Islamophobia,” saying, “we cannot support a curriculum that erases the American Jewish experience, fails to discuss anti-semitism, reinforces negative stereotypes about Jews, singles out Israel for criticism and would institutionalize the teaching of anti-semitic stereotypes in our public schools.”
It wasn’t that long ago California “educators” tried to teach “Ebonics” as a legitimate course of study and language. It took only a year to scrap that silly non-education plan.
Even the Los Angeles Times editorial board questioned the sanity of the California educators: “But ethnic studies courses have little chance of succeeding if they don’t stem from a strong curriculum that challenges students to read, listen, gather facts, analyze those facts and think critically about the controversial issues that will naturally arise.”
“It’s hard to wade through all the references to hxrstory and womxn and misogynoir and cisheteropatriarchy.”
Today’s lesson plans are written by Social Justice Warriors and LGBT activists, and enshrined in the California education code, California Globe recently reported. But what is being foisted on children as young as age five, cannot even be uttered on the public airways, because radio stations would receive a violation letter from the Federal Communications Commission:
- Comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education in grades kindergarten through grade six;
- gender expression and identity;
- Kindergarten books that introduce 5-year-olds to families with members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender;
- Lessons which teach third graders that sexual reproductive organs don’t always match a person’s gender;
- Sexual health lessons that must include examples of same-sex sexual activity. Students should not be separated by sex during these lessons to avoid “misgendering” students.
- Gender is not strictly defined by physical anatomy or sex assigned at birth. Rather, students understand that gender refers to attitudes, feelings, characteristics, and behaviors that a given culture associates with being male or female, sometimes labeled “masculine” and “feminine.” Moreover, a person’s gender identity refers to their sense of self, while gender expression refers to their outward gender presentation including physical appearance and behaviors. Understanding individual differences will help students feel accepted and be more accepting.”
Sacramento City Unified School District is teetering on insolvency. Los Angeles Unified School District’s debt could bring the state down with it.
Sen. John Moorlach and his office did a study of the financial health of the state’s 944 school districts. His October 2018 report found:
- About two-thirds of California’s 944 public school districts run negative balance sheets. These statements show the most distressed districts could soon reach a tipping point into insolvency and receivership.
- Of the state’s large school districts, those in severe distress include Los Angeles Unified School District, with a negative $10.9 billion balance sheet; San Diego Unified at negative $1.5 billion; Fresno Unified at negative $849 million; and Santa Ana Unified at negative $485 million, the worst in Orange County.
- Of the state’s 72 community college districts, only one enjoys a positive unrestricted net position (UNP).
- Cal State University’s balance sheet is negative $3.66 billion.
- The University of California’s balance sheet bleeds red ink all over the state, at negative $19.3 billion. Worse, that will double next year, to $38.6 billion, when retiree medical is included.
Additionally, Moorlach has warned about the financial straights the entire state is in. His March 2018 report on the state’s 482 cities found 2/3 of them in the red; of 58 counties, 55 suffered deficits and only three enjoyed positive balance sheets. His May 2018 report on the 50 U.S. states found only nine were financially healthy, with California ranked among the worst, in 42nd place.
Moorlach has been warning of a coming “tipping point into insolvency and receivership,” suggesting that the state is not addressing its most immediate needs, and instead fiddling in frivolous and even preposterous distractions.
Test scores almost always show that when they get more money it almost never ends up improving student performance.
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