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.
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.’”