Friday, May 24, 2024

California Schools Are Failing Under Woke Priorities, CRT-Inspired Curricula

All you have to do in order to get a sense of what woke education is doing to our younger generations is consider the California public school system, where nearly $25,000 is spent on each student in K-12 and the state is still ranked #40 nationally in student achievement.

Education observers agree the Golden State has consistently trailed behind other states when it comes to standardized test scores, but the latest results from the 2022 Nation’s Report Card spells out further declines in reading and math scores by students in fourth and eighth grades.

California’s latest scores included 230.36 in fourth grade math, 214.39 in fourth grade reading, 269.81 in eighth grade math and 258.79 in eighth grade reading — all far below the national average and lower than the scores for each category in 2019.

The state’s standardized Smarter Balanced assessments of math and English language arts confirmed the overall declines; the California Department of Education (CDE) released results of the testing in late October, indicating a 3.81 percent decline between 2019 and 2022 between students who met or exceeded standard in English and a 6.35 percent decline in math. Put another way, In only four in ten California students in grades 3 through 8 and then 11th grade can read at their assigned grade level — and only three in ten can do math proficiently.

So, what’s happening?

Well, in 2021, California became the first state in the nation to mandate ethnic studies for high school graduation. The finalized state curriculum includes key elements of critical instruction that emphasize perceiving aspects of society through the promotion of racialized identities and assessing the validity of certain social constructs through the broad lenses of collective struggles and victimhood — approaches that approximate basic tenets of critical race theory.

In the meantime, a radical approach to ethnic studies called Liberated Ethnic Studies, which is also strongly rooted in critical race theory, has gotten a foothold in a growing number of school districts across the state.

The California State Board of Education has been considering a revolutionary mathematics framework for its public K-12 schools that focuses not necessarily on improving proficiency in the traditional sense, but instead introduces an anti-racist approach to mathematics, which, per new woke sensibilities, has been used since time immemorial to perpetuate and impose on non-white peoples a value system that promotes colonialism.

In addition to working to assume their roles as leading proponents of woke instruction, California schools have sought to install in classrooms the priorities of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). An array of school boards have voted to approve “Board Policy 0415- Equity,” a pledge to dismantle “a history of exclusion, discrimination, and segregation.”

Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to defending true equality — which Frank Xu, the organization’s president, argues doesn’t valuate people based on the color of their skin — launched a groundbreaking research project that examined the prevalence of thought indoctrination in 44 California school districts.  

“Our empirical study, looking into board policies, school district developments, and board meeting minutes, found that 24 of these districts, including 10 elementary school districts, have official DEI policies and 30 expended public education funds on paid DEI training such as professional development sessions and curricular development,” Xu reported in an article he wrote for the California Globe.

“Indeed, radical ideologues and education bureaucrats, who are driven by political agendas, money and a desire to protect the status quo, should take much of the blame for the abysmal state of public education in California,” Xu continued in the piece. teachers’ unions, he said “are the biggest culprit. Not only have they poured massive funds to support partisan candidates at the national and state levels, unions are now putting a thumb on the scale in local school board races”

Xu explained his group discovered over $600,000 have been injected into a handful of school board campaigns in San Diego as of October 27, 2022, while traditionally school board candidates spent $5,000 or less in their campaigns. “But in San Diego Unified School District, the San Diego Education Association PAC has put in over $150,000 to help two of its hand-picked candidates and a stunning $91,000 to oppose a pro-education candidate.”

Said Xu in the Globe: “Proponents of woke education pride themselves as the arbiters of love, tolerance and truth. But the reality shows a stark contrast. Deteriorating educational results hurt vulnerable students the most. According to both the Nation’s Report Card and CDE’s Smarter Balanced results, learning gaps affecting low-income students, English learners and ‘students of color’ have deepened.

“Something is clearly wrong in our public education system,” wrote Xu. “Politicized, agenda-driven education has victimized countless California students and teachers’ unions overshadow the education policy making processes from Sacramento all the way down to local communities.

“Hopefully, California parents and voters want some changes bad enough to revolt against the woke establishment at the ballot box in this upcoming election,” he said. “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”