By Casey Ryan for RealClearPolitics
Parents are understandably concerned about the divisive curricula now being taught in American schools. Ideas such as critical race theory and extreme gender ideology often replace subjects traditionally taught in core courses like science and social studies.
Students no longer learn the importance of our nation’s history. They learn a distorted worldview that divides us into oppressors and oppressed.
This dangerous ideology has only grown with the introduction of ethnic studies into schools across our nation, with a new California law soon making courses on the subject mandatory.
Although ethnic studies may seem benign, it is simply CRT under a different name, focusing on a once unimaginable bigotry: anti-Semitism.
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The Ethnic Liberated Studies Model Curriculum Consortium explicitly states on its website that “critical race theory is one of many theoretical lenses used in ethnic studies”. LESMC has a history of pushing schools to adopt anti-Israel and anti-Jewish lessons and advocacy with its curriculum.
The consulting firm before promoted a “toolkit” titled “Getting Ready to Teach Palestine” which explained that teachers “might want to center gentrification and forced resettlement” in their lessons. It would be part of an effort to educate students about “the impact of continued colonial control over water resources on the US-Mexico border and in Gaza.”
The comprehensive “toolkit” explains that “teaching the truth about US history is a liberating act” and that “teaching the truth about Palestine is also a liberating act.”
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LESMC appears to have a significant influence on a major school district with more than 600,000 students. Parents defending education reported that Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona applied for LESMC “to become a 501c(3) corporation with the State of California” in February 2021.
His profile on the consulting firm’s website lists her as the “leader” of the organization and Explain that she is a member of the “Ethnic Studies Curriculum Committee” of the Los Angeles Unified School District. His LinkedIn profile shows that she is still a “drama and journalism teacher” at the district’s Edward R. Roybal Learning Center.
In August 2020, the LAUSD adopted a resolution require high school students to take at least one ethnic studies course to graduate. One of the objectives of the district course is to learn students on so-called forms of oppression which include “capitalism” and “cisheteropatriarchy”. Anti-Semitism quickly followed.
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In September 2021, PDE reported that classroom decorations at Alexander Hamilton High School included a Palestinian flag and a sign that exclaimed “Make Israel Palestine Again”. PDE later reported that another sign in the classroom urged students to honor “Palestinian mothers with children in Israeli prisons.”
It’s not just a West Coast problem. While LESMC is a major contributor to the spread of anti-Semitic misinformation in California, more and more organizations and individuals are spreading this evil ideology to students in schools across the country.
Passaic County Education Associations in New Jersey sent an email to teachers earlier this year to promote a “Summer Series” of the “Working Group of Democratic Socialists of America BDS and Palestine Solidarity.” The purpose of this series was to “equip” teachers “with the knowledge and practices necessary to bring the truth about Palestine to our classrooms.”
One session in this series aimed to teach educators about “heroic resistance to Zionism.”
In another incident in May 2021, a member of the Fairfax County, Va., school board, declared that it “breaks my heart to celebrate as Israel kills Palestinians and desecrates the Holy Land at this time”. She added that “apartheid and colonization were wrong yesterday and will be wrong today, here and there.”
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that fourth graders nationwide have seen “the worst drop in math and reading scores in decades” since the pandemic hit the United States. This included “the largest drop in reading scores since 1990 and the first statistically significant drop in math scores” since 1973.
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As students across our country struggle more than they have in decades, our schools are choosing to spend valuable classroom time – and taxpayer dollars – on ethnic studies lessons that don’t provide no benefit and, on the contrary, encourage bigotry.
Students are no longer learning the importance of our country’s history or even the most basic life skills that will help them succeed in their careers. The direction of our schools is wrong and our education system must change course before more irreparable harm is inflicted on the youth of our country.
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
Casey Ryan is a staff writer at Parents Defending Education.
Opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.