The woebegone planet known as the state of California has accomplished a rare feat. A proposed model curriculum for a required ethnic studies program in public schools is too much even for the dominant establishment media organ in the Golden State.
The Los Angeles Times dared to question the march of progress on the Left Coast in an Aug. 4 editorial. The draft proposal is “an impenetrable melange of academic jargon and politically correct pronouncements,” the paper wrote in a refreshing moment of media sanity. “It’s hard to wade through all the references to hxrstory and womxn and misogynoir and cisheteropatriarchy.”
Social Justice Schooling
It is a rather dizzying document. A footnote to the proposal published on the official California Department of Education website explains the PC jargon. “Throughout this model curriculum, language is used that deliberately offers an alternative to traditional wording that could have a particular context within the dominant culture,” the note reads. That pregnant sentence provides more than a hint to the biased agenda being developed for California’s schoolchildren.
“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,” the draft declares in its introduction. “Further, it is the xdisciplinary, loving, and critical praxis of holistic humanity – as educational and racial justice.”
The proposal states that the ethnic studies program is designed not just to overcome the alleged oppression of minority students in American education today but also to compensate them for the wrongs inflicted upon them. The “achievement gap” between “students of different racial backgrounds” is to be “recontextualized” as the “opportunity gap.” More than that, however, it is to be considered an “education debt” to “what students of color in the United States are owed after centuries of educational trauma, dehumanization, and enforced sociopolitical, cultural-historical, economic, and moral constraints via the education system.”
The fiery wording suggests a punitive posture is in store for the unfortunate white students, who will be forced to attend such a class in order to graduate if the bill passes. But this is painted in positive hues as well. The document explains that ethnic studies courses have “[h]elped white students become stronger advocates and allies for equity, justice, and liberation.” It’s all about properly programming young minds.
Two Plus Two Equals Oppression
The fixation on social justice is meant to be total, encompassing “US History, World History, Economics, Psychology, Social Studies, and Geography.” Remarkably, even math and science are included in the wide net cast by the ethnic educators. “Another example is that in math there are courses such as ‘Am I an Ethnic Statistic’ and ‘Math and Social Justice,’” the draft reads.
The influential L.A. Times danced on eggshells in its editorial as it dared criticize the progressive mindset that fueled the model curriculum. Citing a passage about students who may want to “advocate for voting rights for undocumented immigrant residents at the school district and city elections,” the paper wondered how “students who might dare to disagree with the party line” would fare.
“[S}ome students might think that the right to vote in mayoral and city council elections is the prerogative of citizens, not noncitizens (that’s not a right-wing idea, is it?), and they might want to meet with the school district about that,” the Times cautiously asserted. “Is it?” One can feel the editorial staff bracing for the progressive punch to the face as it made its disagreement known.
Radicalism has infected the University of California education system, and now leftists are intent on foisting a cultural Marxist agenda on all high school students in the state. Conservatives have long argued that our public schools have become nothing but indoctrination centers for a biased worldview over recent decades. Even a liberal major newspaper can see the problem. Can California step back from the progressive precipice before it’s too late?