At The American Conservative, Gilbert T. Sewall explains how a proposed new California ethnic studies program takes an anti-Israel stance, and “openly abandons teaching and learning in favor of political indoctrination.” He writes (abridged):
Last week, the Hoover Institution’s Williamson Evers admirably aired in the Wall Street Journal a disturbing Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum proposed by the California Department of Education and its Instructional Quality Commission, now under view. “It is difficult to comprehend the depth and breadth of the ideological bias and misrepresentations without reading the whole curriculum—something few will want to do,” Evers concluded.
It reflects a revolutionary storm sweeping through educational leadership in the nation’s legislatures and metro school districts.
That means that to get a high school diploma, starting in 2024, California students by law will have to complete … “a one-semester course in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum.” Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, Stockton, and other minority-rich school districts in the state have already established Ethnic Studies graduation requirements or programs.
The sample lessons and courses feature often well-worn subjects with a partisan cast: redlining, resistance to mass incarceration, decolonizing your diet, undocumented immigrants, the black LGTBTQIA experience, police brutality, Occupy Wall Street, Indian burial sites, El Salvador, the United Farm Workers movement, and much more.
California’s powerful Jewish community is furious with what’s on display.
The model curriculum pointedly omits anti-Semitism as a subject and Jews as an ethnic group worth study.
Moreover, it takes an openly anti-Israeli view of the Middle East.
“This is nothing more than an attempt by fringe activists to highjack the model ethnic-studies curriculum for California high schools in the service of radical political goals,” fumes Seth Brysk, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director, not used to being on the wrong side of the virtue equation. Ethnic studies militants in Sacramento evidently lump Jewish Americans inside the icy cavern of White Privilege.
The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum reminds readers that “cultures, hxrstories, and social positionalities are forever changing and evolving.” In other words, it’s our turn, our hxrstory now.
Reviewing panel reports, curriculum proposals, and humanities textbooks for three decades, I’ve watched multiculturalism’s ambitions rise from “a place at the table” to demands for absolute content and conscience control.
The prospect of a state-decreed high school graduation requirement in ethnic studies openly abandons teaching and learning in favor of political indoctrination.
Read more here.