The left’s plan to disfigure America is moving right along.
The results of a survey released last week revealed that two-thirds of 18-39 year-old Americans do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. One-half of the respondents could not name a single concentration camp. One-fourth said the holocaust was a myth and one-tenth blamed it on the Jews.
I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is very much in line with other recent polls which find that just 27 percent of those under the age of 45 nationally can demonstrate a basic understanding of American history. Additionally, 57 percent of all Americans don’t know we have nine Supreme Court justices, 60 percent don’t know which countries we fought in WWII, and only 32 percent can correctly name all three branches of government.
Instead of cleaning up its act, the education establishment is doubling down. In fact, America’s children are in the process of having their brains scrubbed clean. Instead of teaching actual history, we are seeing more and more curricula that is pointedly critical of America and its traditional values. Facts are irrelevant. Objectivity is non-existent. Lies are truth.
The new indoctrination is for the most part of the far-left race-obsessed variety. In Virginia, the state Board of Education is in the process of discussing recommendations set forth in a report commissioned by Governor Ralph Northam. It proposes revamping Virginia’s school curriculum, to include “critical race theory,” which claims that “whiteness” is a moral blight and that all white people are complicit in oppressing people of color.
The largest school district in North Carolina has just launched a website that provides Black Lives Matter lessons for teachers. Yes, the appropriately named Wake County will tell white kids to recognize the fact they are privileged, and importantly instruct them on how they can recruit allies to the BLM cause.
Perhaps the biggest splash made by the cultural Marxists is “The 1619 Project,” which is making its way into classrooms across the country. The core of this agenda-driven fantasy claims that one of the primary reasons the colonists revolted against England was to preserve the institution of slavery. However, this was a bridge too far even for Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the fraud, who now claims that she meant to say “some of” the colonists fought to preserve slavery, not all of them. Hence, the thrust behind the project has been eviscerated, but that change will not deter the zealots from forcing the bogus project on kids all over the country.
In California, where “wokeness” supersedes godliness as an admired attribute in some circles, it’s coming down to crunch time for the embattled Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). As I wrote last month, the 2020 adaptation of the guidelines is somewhat better than last year’s version, but there are still many problems with it. The ESMC is still advising that students study “modern day movements and intersectional struggles for social Justice like the Immigrant Rights Movement, The Black Lives Matter Movement, the Environmental Justice Movements, Feminist Movements, LGBTQIA Queer Movements, and others.” Also, kids will learn about “strategies and approaches of these movements and apply them to problem solving struggles, challenges, or problems that we identify in our communities. In addition to rigorous reading assignments, information is drawn from student life experiences, major newspapers, culturally conscious musicians, and alternative media. The current information will allow us to see historical trajectories, contemplate social action, and make course material relevant.”
So not only is there an obvious far left slant to the curriculum, students are directed to become social justice warriors.
The good news is that many groups are up in arms about the ESMC. Jewish organizations are outraged that the ESMC states that America’s Jews and Irish have gained “racial privilege.”
The Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies, “a grassroots group of parents, teachers, students and immigrants representing all backgrounds, races, ethnicities and political affiliations,” is on the case. Its press release quotes Vera Hartford, a lawyer and political refugee from communist Czechoslovakia. “For those of us that grew up in Soviet bloc countries, the ESMC is like déjà vu. We are dumbfounded by a curriculum that consistently elevates Socialism, Marxism, and Communism as the way students are encouraged to become socially responsible. We are familiar with an educational system that proselytizes this specific political dogma that is proven to be unworkable and discriminatory in itself. It grooms and conditions impressionable minds to an ideology in service of a political agenda. Intolerance, bullying, and loss of freedom inevitably follow.”
Governor Gavin Newsom has until September 30th to sign AB 331, the bill mandating that a one-semester ethnic studies course become a high school graduation requirement for California public school students even though the course contents are not finalized. In fact, the ESMC proponents are in the midst of a “public comment period” which will end on September 30th. Then, in November, the Instructional Quality Commission will consider revisions, and pass its findings along to the state Board of Education. In March 2021 the Board will take action on the proposed curriculum.
The ESMC is nothing more than a Marxist blueprint whose purpose is to indoctrinate California’s children, and it’s now time for all of us to voice our opinion on the manifesto. If there are no major changes and you are a parent, please, please consider homeschooling your kids if at all possible.
* * *
Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.