California Adopting Communist Teaching Methods

California Adopting Communist Teaching Methods

Teachers greet students on the first day of classes at Yorba Middle School in Orange, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

John Seiler

John Seiler

2/22/2024

Updated: 2/26/2024

Commentary
I’m not abusing the use of the word “communist” here. California is indeed adopting teaching methods imposed in the 1920s in the Soviet Union, the world’s first communist regime, emphasizing conformity above all else.
EdSource headlined on Feb. 13, “New California teaching standards increase focus on family engagement, social-emotional learning.” It reported, “California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved long-awaited revised Standards for the Teaching Profession on Thursday that emphasize culturally responsive teaching, social-emotional learning and family engagement.”
Notice there’s no reversal of the recent dumbing-down of curricula, which I have reported in The Epoch Times in such articles as, “How Scholars, Parents Are Fighting the ‘Communist Education Deep State.’”
Please excuse the educationese jargon, but this is how educrats write and think. And note especially the word “collective” in the last sentence. This is from the actual document of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing:
“[T]he standards have been updated over time so that they continue to be relevant and useful in the face of changes in learning expectations and priorities, shifts in student populations, and increased attention on outcomes that incorporate such factors as diversity, equity, and inclusion. ...
“The standards feature evidence-based strategies that address learners’ academic and social-emotional development; apply to classroom, school, district, and community settings; include actions for both individual teachers and collaborative teaching; and provide strategies that support teachers’ professional judgment while attending to state standards and frameworks, along with family and community goals. The purpose of these standards is to enable teachers to meet the needs of all learners (collective), each learner (individual), and every learner, including but not limited to specifically historically and persistently underserved students.”

Equity Over Equality

As I’ve noted many times in the Epoch Times, “equity” or “equitable” is a socialist word imposing government control over who or what is “equitable,” or isn’t. It’s different from the previous “equality of opportunity,” as in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech from 1963: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Equality says: Treat everybody the same. Equity says: The government will determine who gets what.
The curriculum document is saturated with “equity” or its equivalents, using them 54 times, an average of 1.6 times on its 34 pages. Examples—again, please excuse the dense jargon: “Shape and support teacher behaviors and skills for evidence-based practice that generates equitable, high-quality education ... lay groundwork for next steps in continuously improving teaching in ways that equitably benefit all learners’ academic achievement and wellbeing ... embed California’s vision for teaching in an effective, equitable learning system. ... Teachers integrate content, processes, materials, and resources into a coherent, culturally relevant, and equitable curriculum.”

Yes, Equity Is Communist

I’m not exaggerating. In February 2023 in Real Clear Education, Wai Wah Chin wrote, “The Equity Delusion and Its Marxist Roots.” She is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the founding president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York.
She explained, with the internal links hers: “Equity is the less-discussed triumvir of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). ... Equity attracted less scrutiny because equity, not inherently linked to racism like diversity and inclusion, has been invoked in genuinely unfair situations. This gives equity a patina of righteousness, even though well-established principles and laws already exist to remedy the unfairness.
“Such equity is gratuitous, and grabs credit fraudulently. Equity invoked as part of DEI is every bit as racist and prejudicial as diversity and inclusion and is just as weaponized for collectivist reward and punishment.
“For example, equity is invoked to justify explicit racial allocations in medical school admissions, doctor hires, and distribution of medical treatment. Letting race override competence or science literally risks lives.
“Equity is also invoked to ‘repair’ presumed ‘disparate outcomes’ in criminal justice; in the resulting mass decriminalization, crime skyrockets, communities suffer, and people flee. ...
“Equity has many variants, but essentially, equity aims for equality of outcomes, ruling in favor of groups based on overlapping, or ‘intersectional’ oppressions—in diametric opposition to our treasured principle of equality, which aims for equality of rights for individuals.
“This just rehashes communism’s slogan, ‘from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs,’ which dates back to before Karl Marx. Equity, in this context, demands that we confiscate and redistribute, all while employing discrimination to achieve its ends.”

Affirmative Action Discrimination

Her article came out just before, but anticipated, the June Harvard case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled affirmative action unconstitutional. In addition to Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the other school in that particular case, she cited “Asian-American students have sued over racial discrimination in New York City’s Specialized High Schools and TJ admissions. Besides the injustice from racism, the unfolding equity initiatives already damaged educational excellence.”
“TJ” is the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., just south of Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has decided not to review a lawsuit charging the school with imposing a racist “equity” affirmative action program. WUSA 9 reported the school “threw out standardized test scores, [instead] emphasizing economically disadvantaged students or those still learning English, and not taking race into account.”
Parents vowed to keep fighting. “We just have to keep educating our kids that any form of discrimination is discrimination,” said Asra Nomani of the Coalition for TJ. “We can’t just put blinders on because you think one racial group is supposedly achieving. We are not finished, we’re not done.”
The problem is, if a school emphasizing high academic achievement throws out academics on admission scores, then its very reason for existence is sabotaged. Equity also cheats worthy, high-achieving students who are frozen out. And it deludes the students admitted with low test scores by saying they can cheat the system, instead of working harder on their own.
Equity also disguises the poor quality of lower-level schools in the public system. In TJ’s case, the students who are seeking admission are from those pre-high school public schools. For colleges and universities, the lower level schools are the entire K-12 school system, which in California has long been suffocated by the absolute power of the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers.

DEI Is Going to “DIE” Us

Notable educator, psychologist, and author Jordan Peterson says DEI—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—ought to be DIE. It certainly is a grave concern that California’s public schools system, instead of encouraging achievement, pushes a communist equity system harming students.
When communist dictator Joseph Stalin achieved absolute power in 1929, he pushed the Soviet version of equity, meaning Marxist conformity. But he also insisted on high standards for STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math. (The exception was biology, where he imposed Lysenkoism, a genetics pseudoscience that produced famines.)
The reason was Stalin needed scientists and engineers to build his factories for tanks, bombs, and warplanes so he could impose communism first on Europe, then the world.
Fortunately, the United States in those days was not under the spell of DEI/DIE, and our STEM geniuses built the first atomic bomb, beat the Soviets to the moon, and created what once was the world’s most prosperous society. California’s public schools, a model for the nation as late as the 1960s, produced many of the top brains, as well as ordinary workers, who built that Arsenal of Democracy, as well as the world’s most prosperous nation, a practical utopia for the middle class.
Now it’s all being thrown away for delusions of communist equity.
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John Seiler

John Seiler

Author

John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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