Everything is Wrong with California’s Proposed Ethnic Studies Curriculum

Since Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2016 into effect, California’s State Board of Education is now required to adopt an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. This curriculum, a draft of which is open to comments through August 15, would serve as a resource for all California public schools wishing to add a high school-level course in the radical left’s favorite academic subject.


Fortunately, schools would not be required to use the model curriculum – unsurprisingly, the draft is filled to the brim with the most fashionable left-wing jargon available (which practically no one besides the left even understands) and is biased accordingly.


Describing capitalism as a “form of power and oppression,” the blue state’s Board of Education clearly isn’t even trying to hide its economic preferences. Its take on racial tensions in American history ignores important facts and opposing points of view. According to the curriculum, George Jackson was “a revolutionary warrior for Black liberation and prison reform,” conveniently ignoring that Jackson was charged with murder.


Historical conflict between European colonists and Native Americans is oversimplified and perpetrates the mostly false narrative that Native Americans had the same mindset as present-day ecologists. Finally, the curriculum has reasonably been accused of anti-Semitism. Jews and Judaism are notably excluded from the discussion of ethnic groups, and the curriculum’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict heavily favors the latter.


If this specific content of the curriculum isn’t enough to worry conservative or moderate parents, the more basic principles it is built upon should be. This curriculum clearly isn’t interested in students learning anything at all. Instead of teaching historical facts and objective truth, the curriculum tells students they must become instigators of “social justice.” This is a call to the protests, boycotts, marches, and strikes so commonly seen in today’s news.


Ultimately, this is a call for students to become activists, not scholars. And not just activists for anything – activists only for the handful of causes approved by the radical left, most of which revolve around vague ideas of power, privilege, and intersectionality. The curriculum twists even the concept of critical thinking into the idea of looking at problems through the lens of systems of power instead of looking at them through the lens of logic and experience. In short, this Californian, government-issued, public school curriculum is entirely predictable.

Ruth Moreno is a contributor to TheRichValdes.com