Bravo to the Los Angeles Times editorial writers for coming down against  the one-sided proposal on how to teach California students “ethnic studies.” The Times editorial follows by a few days an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Williamson M. Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, which hit the proposal equally as hard.

It is not the idea of ethnic studies the writers were opposed to but rather the curriculum model created by the “Model Curriculum Advisory Committee” appointed by the State Board of Education.  As the Times points out, this model curriculum is made up of “an impenetrable melange of academic jargon and politically correct pronouncements.”

Both columns advise that comments on the curriculum draft must be in by August 15. Here’s a better idea. Junk the proposal and start over.

The state wants to create an ethnic studies program that recognizes California’s rich diversity. But that quest for diversity is apparently limited to left-wing philosophy.

The Times editorial cited examples for students to consider and organizations and people to learn about as “an exercise in group think.” 

The editorial notes in suggesting an example of community involvement, the curriculum students consider an effort to allow non-citizens to vote. Further, the editorial says the curriculum encourages studying the Black Panther Party or the Third World Liberation Front or the Occupy Movement or the Palestinian-led BDS movement. All come from similar political viewpoints. The Times asks, “But what happened to studying a range of ideas.”

Evers column in the Journal is titled “California Wants to Teach Your Kids that Capitalism is Racist.” 

A long glossary  of words follows the study’s main pages because the teachers and professors who put this program together created new words and new spellings of common words, and defined words the way this agenda driven group thought they should be defined.

Here is the glossy’s definition of Capitalism: 

Capitalism- an economic and political system in which industry and trade are based on a “free market” and largely controlled by private companies instead of the government. Within Ethnic Studies, scholars are often very critical of the system of capitalism as research has shown that Native people and people of color are disproportionately exploited within the system. In a capitalist economy, surplus value (profit) is generated from human labor and everything is commodified.

Nothing about capitalism being the best job creator in world history.

An example of new words and spelling is the word Hxrstory. This is not a misspelling but a word in the report and defined thusly in the glossary: Hxrstory- pronounced the same as “herstory,” hxrstory is used to describe history written from a more gender inclusive perspective. The “x” is used to disrupt the often rigid gender binarist approach to telling history.

The created words and glossary definitions is just another attempt to take over the language to promote a new reality and new way of thinking.

Critical thinking seems to be voided in the proposed curriculum, an issue both the Times editorial writers and the Hoover Institution scholar agree is slanted in the proposal. Evers of Hoover writes, quoting from the proposal: Thinking critically “requires individuals to evaluate phenomenon [sic] through the lens of systems, the rules within those systems, who wields power within systems and the impact of that power on the relationships between people existing within systems.”

Public comment can be submitted by August 15 to give the Instructional Quality Commission until its September meeting to review and recommend revisions.

Starting anew would be a better idea, but at least the opportunity to have competing model curriculum proposals should be offered.

If you want to read the proposal or comment on it by August 15 go here