Mark considers the news that the 'California Ethnic Studies' curriculum is back and coming to a classroom near you soon.
A little over a year ago California’s Assembly passed an ethnic studies bill, AB 331, and handed it off to California’s Education Department (CED) to write and deliver the curriculum. The CED did just that, and then attempted to get it adopted by quickly and very quietly soliciting public comments just after the school year ended when parents were less likely to be paying attention.
Did you hear about it? Probably not.
In fact, the CED was so quiet about it that only 67 comments on it had been received from the time it was published on June 17th through July 31 of 2019. I literally stumbled upon the story as I was preparing to do one of my radio shows.
As the story goes, the state’s own democratic majority read the completed first draft document and, believe it or not, found it to be a little too extreme so it was put aside. Now, after the recent protests that have occurred in cities all over America, California legislators and other progressive eggheads decided it was time to revisit ethnic studies and the results of their latest efforts to craft a curriculum are nearly every bit as bad as the original attempt.
The California Ethnic Studies curriculum will be required to graduate high school in California and will be taught in K-12. Written by a group of teachers, academics and bureaucrats, its described as “the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with an emphasis on experiences of people of color in the United States.” The authors also describe it as, “the study of intersectional and ancestral roots, coloniality, hegemony and a dignified world where many worlds fit, for present and future generation.” It is also the “xdisciplinary, loving, and critical praxis of holistic humanity.”
I don’t speak this weird language (who does in real life) but I think they’re saying it’s a blueprint for training students to become ideological activists and advocates of identity politics and victimology. By the way, in the section about economics, capitalism is described as a “form of power and oppression.” Makes ya proud doesn’t it?
As you read the document you’ll see it’s filled with words like “positionalities” and “cis-heteropatriarchy,” describing cis-heteropatriarchy as “a system of power that is based on the dominance of cis-heterosexual men” A little explanation is perhaps in order. You see, the new world of gender rules means a biological man is a cis-man. Not to be confused with a trans-man which is a man who is biologically a woman. Cis-heteropatriarchy is the rule of non-transgendered, heterosexual fathers…..i think.
Confused by all this mumbo jumbo? Who wouldn’t be? Wait ‘til your kids come home and ask for help with the ethnic studies homework. And you thought new math was challenging.
The bottom line is that California’s proposed Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum sees America as evil. It purports that we are a country steeped in the oppression of women, racial minorities, immigrants and LGBTQ. It deprives students of any optimistic view of America and worst of all it ignores any achievement that groups at the bottom off the socio-economic ladder can, will, and have attained as a result of the opportunities that our American society affords them.
It encourages students to engage in political activism and to become “agents of change, social justice organizers and advocates.” Teachers are directed to have students plan “a direct action” like a sit in, a march or a boycott. And it teaches it all from one side. And I’m afraid it looks alot like Marxism and identity politics to me.
I do have an important question for the wokest of woke legislators in Sacramento.
Even if we all loved this idea, when do you imagine teachers will have the time to teach this material?
There’s barely enough time now to teach basics like maths and science. What subjects will lose out in favor of this new and enlightened ethnic studies curriculum? Because as furtive as the California Education Department has been about the ethnic studies endeavor, they’ve had even less to say about how to explain California’s National Assessment for Educational Progress scores, otherwise known as the Nation’s Report Card.
How’d we do you ask? Well…California ranks 48th in the nation. That’s right….48th. And that’s despite investing over $90 billion in our public education system last year alone.
Where is the outrage in all this? Shouldn’t we prioritize basic reading, math and science skills before we delve into the world of ethnic studies?
Californians are facing a grim future if we continue to keep quiet about what our public institutions are teaching our children. I believe most of us would have no problem with educating them about the injustices tied to race in America. But perhaps the curriculum shouldn’t emphasize victimization and could be more balanced by including the considerable achievements made by minorities as a result of America’s opportunities and, yes, despite our acknowledged “white privilege.” As far as teaching Johnny that his parts are interchangeable with Suzie’s and it all depends on how he’s feeling on any given day….well, give me some time on that one. My biology teacher and my common sense say something entirely different.
Here’s a compromise. Let just teach our children to be fair, honest and respectful of each other and we can haul out the heavy ethnic studies material after we’re certain little Johnny can actually read it.
California kids deserve better.