Opinion: Critical ethnic studies using back door into public schools
Critical Ethnic Studies couldn’t get in the front door of California’s public schools, so now adherents of the historical perspective that’s considered by many to be both anti-white American and anti-Semitic are trying to enter through the rear.
Grappling with the prospect of developing new ethnic studies programs for middle and high schools, districts in many parts of California are hiring co-authors and backers of a rejected first version of the state’s new Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum as well-paid consultants.
Such courses are not yet required to receive high school diplomas in this state, but soon will be if legislators pass a proposed law known as AB 101. That bill lets local school districts design their own ethnic studies programs and not use the state’s new, better-vetted curriculum.
With few consultants available to help, several early adopters of ethnic studies appear to be influenced by Critical Ethnic Studies (CES) adherents, whose focus is largely on past persecution of minority groups which together today make up a majority of California’s populace.
The strong CES focus on the roles of slavery and white supremacy in American history and the part colonialism played in world history was largely rejected in the state’s model curriculum. But many districts appear about to spend millions of dollars on their own curricula that would once again bring those factors to the fore, advancing themes rejected at the state level because they were factually incorrect and likely to spur ethnic discord.
Some districts are using authors of the faulty first draft of the state curriculum to create their own programs. These would stay in force under AB 101 if it passes.
The school board in Hayward’s unified district in the East Bay suburbs of San Francisco, for one example, last month voted to spend $40 million on a program designed by the for-profit Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute (LESMC), a consulting firm aiming to sell versions of the state’s rejected first draft, which featured overtly false anti-white, anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist elements. That group’s website lists several contributors to the dumped draft as member consultants.
The resoundingly rejected curriculum taught that virtually all whites historically backed racism and slavery, despite realities like these: About half the “Freedom Riders” during the civil rights movement of the 1960s were white and one-fourth were Jews. Northern whites and Jews established and funded schools to further education for freed slaves and their children during post-Civil War Reconstruction, when public education was denied them in the former Confederacy. Many more historical facts also contradict CES claims, which falsely hold that virtually all white immigrants to America quickly gave up their old identities in favor of new “white privilege.”
San Diego’s district appears set to approve a $77 million plan to emphasize ethnic studies in all subjects taught from kindergarten to 12th grade. As conceived, its program would be largely written by an LESMC member who also helped write the dumped state draft.
And the Jefferson Elementary School Board in Daly City approved a $40,000 consulting contract with another LESMC member.
Plus, LESMC members consult for the state Board of Education and with Stanford University’s influential Instructional Leadership Corps.
This adds up to a picture of something like a taxpayer subsidized guerilla war waged on many fronts by CES advocates whose anti-white, anti-Semitic ideas could not win state approval even under a liberal Black state schools superintendent.
It’s now up to local citizens to let their school boards know they won’t put up with this subversion of the new emphasis on ethnic studies.
“The Jewish community alone does not have the bandwidth to oppose LESMC in each of the hundreds of school districts (in California),” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, director of the AMCHA Initiative, which tracks anti-Semitism in education.
That makes the new reality one of needed local activism: if parents and other citizens don’t act, Critical Ethnic Studies could soon become standard fare for many California schoolkids, unnecessarily breeding even more divisions than now plague this state and nation.
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Email Thomas Elias at firstname.lastname@example.org. His book, “The Burzynski Breakthrough, The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It” is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. For more Elias columns, visit www.californiafocus.net.