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California’s ‘ethnic studies’ plan should generate widespread concern

Anna Mussmann writes for the Federalist about a left-coast proposal that should concern anyone interested in public education.

Political activists are working to control the historical consciousness of students in California. State legislators are pushing to make courses in ethnic studies as universal an experience as P.E. and math, and proponents of critical race theory are shaping the new curriculum into a tool to indoctrinate students with blatantly Marxist ideology.

Districts are implementing these “ethnic studies,” so families have an opportunity to urge local school boards to provide education instead of indoctrination. Ultimately, whether or not parents can stand successfully against local radicals, they must know the truth about what their children are learning.

Last year, lawmakers voted to force the California State University system to require all students to take ethnic studies. The legislature is expected to also make high school diplomas contingent on the subject as well.

Although he recently vetoed a similar bill, the governor implied he will sign a mandate once the state’s model ethnic studies curriculum is completed. The third draft of this curriculum was recently approved by the Board of Education. Significantly, this model repeatedly offers advice for implementing ethnic studies in “Kindergarten through 12th Grade.” This isn’t just a college class anymore.

Nor is it necessarily just one class. The District Implementation Guidance from the State Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum calls for ethnic studies to “Engage a range of disciplines beyond traditional history and social sciences, including but not limited to: visual and performing arts, English language arts, economics, biology, gender and sexuality studies, etc.” …

… Parents curious about how an “existing course” might be taught through an “ethnic studies lens” should read about the “ethno-mathematics” classes in Seattle, in which students in math class were asked to interpret the subject through the themes of power, oppression, resistance, and liberation so that math could be rehumanized and freed from Western appropriation.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...