California public schools are embarking on a new experiment: education as social justice. Earlier this year, the state Department of Education approved an ethnic studies model curriculum, and individual school districts have begun to implement programs that advocate “decolonizing” the United States and “liberating” students from capitalism, patriarchy, and settler colonialism.
This will likely come as a surprise to most California residents, who may be familiar with the movement’s euphemisms—“ethnic studies,” “educational equity,” “culturally responsive teaching”—but do not understand the philosophical and political premises of these programs. As the state and many school districts begin to implement the state ethnic studies curriculum, however, details are emerging.
I have obtained documents from one such program, the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Ethnic Studies Initiative, that paint a disturbing picture of the ethnic studies curriculum and the activists leading the charge. According to the documents and to sources within the district, the Office of Education held a series of teacher-training sessions on how to deploy ethnic studies in the classroom. The leaders, including district staff, an advisor for the state Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, and a professor from San Jose State University, encouraged teachers to inject left-wing politics into the classroom and to hide controversial materials from parents.
According to slides and contemporaneous notes from the session, the Santa Clara Office of Education began the presentation with a “land acknowledgement,” claiming that Santa Clara County and the public school system “occupy the unceded territory of the Muwekma Ohlone Nation, the sovereign nation and original people of the skies, land, and waters.” The premise of this ritual, which has become common in progressive organizations, is that the American government, founded by white settlers, is an illegitimate colonial power that should return the land to the Native American tribes.
Next, Jorge Pacheco, president of the California Latino School Boards Association and advisor for the state Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, presented the movement’s conceptual framework. Pacheco explained that the ethnic studies curriculum is based on the work of Brazilian Marxist Paulo Freire, who invented the concept of the “pedagogy of the oppressed,” which holds that students must be educated to understand their oppression and develop the practical skills, or “praxis,” to challenge and eventually overthrow their oppressors. Pacheco acknowledged that the Marxist underpinnings to ethnic studies “scare people away” but insisted that teachers must be “grounded in the correct politics to educate students.”
Pacheco then argued that the United States is a political regime based on “settler colonialism,” which he describes as a “system of oppression” that “occupies and usurps land/labor/resources from one group of people for the benefit of another.” The settler colonialist regime, Pacheco continues, is “not just a vicious thing of the past, but [one that] exists as long as settlers are living on appropriated land.” The white colonialist regime of the United States is a “parasitic system” responsible for domestic violence, drug overdoses, and other social problems. In a related PowerPoint slide, Pacheco presented examples of this oppression, including “men exploiting women,” “white people exploiting people of color,” and “rich people exploiting poor people.”
What is the solution? Pacheco argues that teachers must “awaken [students] to the oppression” and lead them to “decodify” and eventually “destroy” the dominant political regime. The first step in this process is to help students “get into the mind of a white man” such as Christopher Columbus and analyze “what ideology led these white male settlers to be power and land hungry and justify stealing indigenous land through genocide.” Pacheco describes this process as transforming students into “activist intellectuals” who “decodify systems of oppression” into their component parts, including “white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, genocide, private property, and God.”
Teachers must be careful, though: Pacheco and the other panelists suggested that local educators hide this revolutionary pedagogy from administrators and families. “District guidelines and expectations are barriers,” said one panelist. “[We] have to be extra careful about what is being said, since we can’t just say something controversial now that we’re in people’s homes [because of remote learning]….”
At the end of the presentation in Santa Clara, Pacheco argued that schools should start transforming children into “activist intellectuals,” beginning in first grade. “[It’s] never too young,” he said, arguing that educators should be “cashing in on kids’ inherent empathy” in order to reshape their ideological foundations….
The above comes from an April 13 story in City Journal by Christopher Rufo.
No longer education. It’s thoroughgoing brainwashing, now combined with leftist militancy.
No different in its own way from the delusions of Frederick the Great or Napoleon, who founded Europe’s first public schools, the purpose of which was to produce citizens who would do what the state and its rulers wanted.
.” Pacheco describes this process as transforming students into “activist intellectuals” who “decodify systems of oppression” into their component parts, including “white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, genocide, private property, and God.”
and this has always, every single time, worked out wonderfully for the impoverished class…not….It *has* always worked out for the few ruling elites and their cronies. To his credit, at least he capitalized ‘God’.
He must really hold these poor kids beneath contempt…..a true hatred of humanity is the only thing that could explain a mentality like this…
I accidentally gave Mark a thumbs down while searching for the reply link.
I want to say that I agree with Mark, and that Pacheco must have a great deal of contempt for the children’s parents, too, no matter their race, ethnicity or color that he wants to keep all this from them. Nothing is private in public school. What he is doing will all leak out, just as what happens in families sometimes leaks out to teachers. Parents need school choice, more now than ever. The first things on the Marxist agenda is to destroy the family, which makes it easier for them to take over.
A quick google search reveals a progressive totalitarian radical steeped in the Pride agenda.
Pacheco: “get into the mind of a white man”
Typical 1960s immature, mindless, leftist Marxist “gobbledeegook” by dangerous, ignorant radicals, seeking to undermine and “overthrow the country.” I think there should be a serious Congressional inquiry and investigation– long overdue — into our current sick, subversive, so-called “education system.” This is not education at all– it is a subversive plan
to undermine, overthrow and destroy our country. Next– a sick Russian, Chinese, or Cuban-style revolution, and Communist-style dictatorship?? But Marxism/Communism works optimally in very poor countries, with very poor, oppressed, starving, uneducated, ignorant people– and requires a lot of nasty, repressive authoritarianism, organization, and discipline!! And who wants to learn all this sick, leftist, radical political garbage, and actually teach it, in a neighborhood “school?” Maybe the local schools will all collapse, when all the kids and teachers run out, screaming for their “white entitled capitalist rights,” to all their American freedoms, privileges and pleasures, on a silver platter.
Besides, many white people today, are very involved, seeking to help the disadvantaged. And they certainly are not “colonizers,” occupying and stealing Indian lands. Why start an ignorant “hate” war against white people? Childish, bigoted, ridiculous nonsense.
Let us end this racist stupidity – and it is very clear that Pacheco is a racist, and his suggested program for schools is racist. White people have been very patient with these continued racist attacks, and it is time to end them. Just as racist attacks against blacks are illegal, intolerant, and not allowable, so should these racist attacks against whites be ended. It’s time. End them.
And Pacheco, if white Americans are so racist, why are thousands of Latinos fighting to get into this country?
Look at those mobs down at the border fence – Pacheco, explain why they are so intent on coming here?
If whites are so evil and racist, why are they there?
Explain that. And why did your parents come here, if not for the freedom and opportunities?
White people need to end this racism and intolerance, coming from Pacheco and others.
And, the School Board, NO!! We don’t need this type of intolerant education.
Please end these attacking programs. Return to common respect, decency, and politeness, to everyone.
Even white people.
“activist intellectuals” ???
or, active idiots ?