Ethnic studies will turn schools into extremist training camps
Minnesota Parents: Amid skyrocketing crime in the Twin Cities, do you want your kids to learn that the sense of disorder in carjackings and smash-and-grab looting is just a social “construction”? That the work of the men and women of our police services – tasked with stemming this wave of crime – is rooted in slavery and “oppression”?
Do you want your children to be trained to see themselves and their classmates as members of “racialized hierarchies” based on “dominant European beauty standards”?
To disdain their families’ religious beliefs as the source of “caste systems” used to “justify imperialism, colonization, war and chattel slavery”?
Do you believe that the mission of our public schools is to train our children to “resist” America’s “systemic” abuse of power against “marginalized” and oppressed groups?
If the new social studies standards proposed by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) are adopted — after we begin the formal rule-making process — this is what our children will learn over the next 10 years. .
MDE acknowledges that its new standards mark a “major change” from current standards. In fact, in the brave new educational world of MDE, ideology will replace the basic factual knowledge students need to be informed citizens, enlisting them as foot soldiers in an extremist political crusade.
The ideological lens through which social studies subjects like history and geography will be taught is that of ethnic studies – a highly politicized “fifth stream” that MDE has added to the four social studies content areas named in the law. of State. His theories and hypotheses are set out in a 2017 essay titled “The Need for Ethnic Studies Curriculum in Minnesota Schools.”
The trial’s lead author, Jonathan Hamilton, is a member of the MDE-appointed committee that drafted the standards. He is also a leader of Education for Liberation Minnesota, a group that has denounced our state’s public education system as a “white supremacist conundrum that needs to be taken apart and exposed for the lie that it is.”
Hamilton writes that the K-12 academic standards were “shaped to maintain” the “existing white-privileging power structure”.
“Ethnic studies is a political struggle” to change this system, according to the essay.
Forget teaching students about the historical leaders and events that shaped our democracy, like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and American victories in World War II. Minnesota’s new ethnic studies standards will forge three ideological tenets in children’s minds: that their skin color determines their “identity”; that life is a zero-sum power struggle between racially-based groups of oppressors and victims; and that American history is a shameful history of domination, marginalization and injustice.
Ethnic studies launches children on the path to political activism. Under the new standards, one of which is titled “Resistance,” for example, they are charged with “organizing” to resist America’s “systemic and coordinated exercises of power” against oppressed “marginalized” groups.
How will this play out in Minnesota classrooms? Here’s an example: Students will study our policing and justice system in relation to an ethnic studies standard that requires them to “understand the roots of contemporary systems of oppression.”
Education for Liberation, Hamilton’s organization, teaches that “formalized American policing really began with slave patrols” that were “empowered” to “brutalize” “blacks and natives” and evolved “straight into modern policing”.
Fifth graders will “first examine contemporary policing” and its purported “historical roots in early America.” Sixth-grade students will “describe the purposes, offenses, penalties, long-term consequences, privacy issues of Minnesota’s juvenile justice system” and “assess the impact on youth, including those in groups historically disenfranchised”.
Finally, high school students will “examine” “incarceration” and “explore how crime is constructed and what makes a person a criminal.”
Biased and misleading teaching of this type is likely to generate fear and resentment in students of certain racial/ethnic groups, and convince them that policing and crime are oppressive, racially “constructed” and among the many things they are called upon to “resist”. “
How have our public schools been hijacked to serve this extremist agenda?
The MDE named prominent activists from the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition (MESC) — an alliance of advocacy groups — to the committee that drafted its new standards.
Education for Liberation described the MESC as one of its own “projects”. The coalition’s primary mission, when it was formed in 2019, was to “revise state social studies by participating in the Minnesota Social Studies Standards Review Committee,” according to the Education for Liberation website. .
The coalition has issued an action alert aimed at building public support for the new benchmark standards on “policing history”.
“It is impossible” for students “to learn about the fights against injustice in this country,” he says, “without addressing the police, who continue to be at the center of the fight for racial justice in Minnesota and elsewhere”. The action alert features an image of a student with a raised fist.
Education for Liberation is also working hard to build support for the anti-police criteria. Posting as “Support the 5and Strand!!” the band retweeted a graphic that makes their end game clear:
“Abolition of the police is about building a new world.” “Defunding the police” and “rebuilding the commons” means “abolishing social order and building a new society”.
The group has already created a school curriculum – “aligned with Minnesota state standards” – to convince young people that abolishing the police is imperative.
It is the “add-on” to “Report MPD150”, which Education for Liberation describes as a “community-written history of the Minneapolis Police Department”. The report describes the MPD as “the forefront of a system of mass incarceration that devours black, brown, and Indigenous peoples” and is “unreformable.”
“The idea of a future without police,” he argues, is “the only pragmatic solution to the challenge of a policing system rooted in the era of slavery and Indian expulsion.”
The policing benchmarks are just the tip of the iceberg of the “activist agenda” in the new social studies standards proposed by the MDE. If adopted, these norms – which will teach our children that life is an endless power struggle between those who share their skin color and everyone else – will tear our social fabric apart.
Ultimately, the responsibility for education policy rests with the governor and Minnesota legislators. Parents and citizens must hold them accountable.
Katherine Kersten (email@example.com) is senior policy researcher at the Center of the American Experiment.