This week, the California Department of Education will vote to finalize the proposed “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.” If passed, it would bring critical race theory-inspired social studies lessons to k-12 classrooms across the state. While implementation will not be mandatory for all districts, the largest districts in the state, Fresno and LAUSD, have already indicated their intention to make the curriculum a requirement for graduation.
It’s difficult to properly convey how radical this curriculum is. The examples shared below are just the tip of the iceberg. The full curriculum reads like a yearlong quest to plumb the depths of every racial grievance, legitimate and otherwise, against America as a whole — and white Americans in particular. Global history, to the extent it is addressed, is repackaged as a parade of oppression, often focused solely on the pernicious racism of white people.
Below are four examples highlighting the radical nature of the curriculum.
Lesson Plan: “#BlackLivesMatter and Social Change”
Predictably, this lesson (found in the “African American Studies” unit) includes units on police brutality, protest — referred to as “tactics of resistance” — and even an assignment for students to prepare an “action plan” just in case an incident of police brutality occurs in their community.
Teachers are advised to “begin the lesson by discussing a recent incident in your community where an African American has been subjected to racial profiling or police brutality.” Students are later asked to identify “root causes” leading to the incident, paying special attention to items like “stand your ground, stop and frisk, noise ordinance, police officers bill of rights, cash bail system” and more.
Teachers are also provided links to additional lesson materials like “Bringing Black Lives Matter into the Classroom Part II,” which explains how to introduce children of various ages to BLM. Predictably, these linked resources include more overtly biased content than the officially endorsed curriculum, including arguments for why traditional American values like tolerance are tantamount to complicity in bigotry (ex: “tolerance is not justice”).
“Jewish Americans: Identity Intersectionality, and Complicating Ideas of Race”
Initially omitted, and only added after receiving 38k comments from community members, the updated curriculum also addresses the persecution of Jewish Americans, albeit in a somewhat backhanded way. For example, the term “conditional whiteness” appears 6 times in the unit on anti-Semitism, but appears nowhere else in the 441 page lesson plan pertaining to other racial groups.
The unit on Jewish Americans also conveniently doubles as a vehicle to learn about “intersectionality,” as well as anti-Arab racism. For example, in one exercise students are asked to contemplate, “what are the manifestations of antisemitism as experienced by intersectional, Jewish Middle Eastern Americans?”
The unit includes extensive discussion of intersectional Jewish identities, including emphasis on Shephardic and Mizrahi jews (Jews of Hispanic and Arab descent), and even highlights Michael Twitty, author of “The Cooking Gene,” for his “intersectional identity, being a Jewish gay African American.”
Near the end of the unit, we are eventually informed that Jews of European descent (read: non-intersectional) can also experience anti-Semitism. We learn that anti-Semitism toward European jews “was only made possible when Europeans conceived of the idea of race.” Persecution of Jews by non-Europeans goes unaddressed.
“Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations”
In a section labeled “Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations,” educators are instructed on how to facilitate what sounds like a Maoist-style struggle session for k-12 children. Teachers are instructed “how to establish a safe space” for “difficult conversations,” how to “acknowledge complicated feelings about race,” and perhaps most Orwellian, how to “begin to develop a shared understanding of facts.”
You will be delighted to learn that “Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations” is but the first in an 11-part lesson series, titled “Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age.”
For this particularly prickly unit, the official curriculum links to a 3rd party website, the text for which, presumably, was not included in the official department review and community vetting process.
One of the most frequently linked resources is titled “Facing History And Ourselves” (which also happens to be the home of the “Facing Ferguson” series). A brief investigation of the site unearths some controversial learning objectives like: “Students will be able to develop a shared understanding of the basic facts surrounding the events in Ferguson,” as well as links to videos like “How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist” (worth watching, FYI).
“Cambodian Americans––Deportation Breaking Families Apart”
The curriculum also misleads via omission. One glaring example can be found in the sample lesson titled, “Cambodian Americans––Deportation Breaking Families Apart.” Students are taught “key terms” like “American secret bombing of Cambodia,” “Pol Pot,” “Khmer Rouge,” “Killing Fields,” and “Trauma,” yet completely omitted is one very relevant key term — “communism.” Despite its relentless focus on systems of power and oppression over the course of the 20th century, the word “communism” appears just one time in the entire document, and only in the context of American involvement in the Vietnam War.
I want to stress that the examples I shared above are hardly highlights. If you lined up all 840 pages on a wall and threw a dart, you would likely hit something as radical as anything I’ve listed. Top to bottom, the entire curriculum hammers relentlessly on one central theme: America is corrupt and oppressive, skin color determines identity, and the entire American project must be dismantled. Indeed, it is our “obligation.”
As of now, this curriculum is only in California. However, these ideas — including critical race theory — represent the mainstream in modern education. It is likely that efforts like this are in progress in several states, and eventually will be in all states. The only way to stop it is to start paying attention. Americans need to understand that radical ideology is being smuggled into our classrooms via small print and unaccountable 3rd party resources. Keeping up with the subtle yet persistent drumbeat of k-12 subversion is tedious, which is why it has been neglected. Hopefully we are beginning to comprehend the importance. We need to become as fastidious as the Left is relentless.
If you are an educator or parent and you have knowledge about concerning curriculum changes in your state or community, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.