News

How Scholars, Parents Are Fighting the ‘Communist Education Deep State’

How Scholars, Parents Are Fighting the ‘Communist Education Deep State’

Demonstrators gather in front of Los Alamitos Unified School District Headquarters in protest of critical race theory teachings in Los Alamitos, Calif., on May 11, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

John Seiler

John Seiler

12/5/2023

Updated: 12/21/2023

Commentary
Lance Izumi has been my go-to source for 30 years on both California education issues and schooling in general. The Koret Senior Fellow and senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) spoke on Nov. 30 before local business and community leaders at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
Among many topics, he discussed his recent book, “The Great Parent Revolt: How Parents and Grassroots Leaders Are Fighting Critical Race Theory [CRT] in America’s Schools.” It was written with Wenyuan Wu, executive director of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, and McKenzie Richards, a PRI policy associate.
Mr. Izumi first brought up the recent Harvard case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which finally ruled that affirmative action violated civil rights laws. It put education and other institutions back on the proper footing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quotation, “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.” California already advanced that with Proposition 209 from 1996. But the court made it national.
“Look at a lot of mainstream media coverage of this. They made it into a black versus white issue,” Mr. Izumi said.
But, he pointed out, the plaintiffs in the case were Asian Americans discriminated against by Harvard University.
“It’s stunning to see how discriminatory Harvard was in their admission system. For example, take the average Asian to apply to Harvard, who is male and is not disadvantaged,“ Mr. Izumi said. ”That would give him a 25 percent chance of getting into Harvard. And if you change his race to white, he would have a 36 percent chance of getting in.
“Now if he changed his race to Hispanic, he would have a 77 percent chance of getting in. Now you change his race to African American, he would have a 95 percent chance. And so Harvard’s own data showed that this racial discrimination has been going on for two decades, at least.”
The trick Harvard used was a two-tiered system. The first tier ranked applicants on meritocratic standards, such as school grades and the SAT and ACT tests.
The second tier ranked applicants on subjective factors, called “holistic.” These included “likeability, integrity, health points, courage, and kindness.” On them, Asians scored the lowest of all, according to Mr. Izumi.
“It’s just absurd,” he said. “It found the Asian Americans are unlikable, unkind, and cowardly.”
I’ve written a lot about education, but it’s hard to think of anything in the education system more biased—and disgusting.
Mr. Izumi said that for the past two decades, Asian Americans were only 20 percent of Harvard freshmen, less than half what they would have been had the school not blatantly discriminated against them.

Equal Protection

Mr. Izumi pointed out that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts relied on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which states that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow and senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, speaks to local business and community leaders at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2023. (Courtesy of John Seiler)

Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow and senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, speaks to local business and community leaders at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2023. (Courtesy of John Seiler)

Mr. Izumi, who’s also a lawyer, summarized Mr. Roberts’s argument: “He said that the Equal Protection Clause has two commands. That race may never be used as a negative. And that it may not operate as a stereotype. And he said that college admissions systems are a zero-sum game. So when you benefit applicants of one race, what happens? You disadvantage applicants of another race, because there are only an X amount of admissions available in the whole pot.”
He then quoted from the Roberts decision, which itself cited the 2003 Grutter decision.
Mr. Roberts wrote of the Harvard actions: “They require stereotyping—the very thing Grutter foreswore. When a university admits students ‘on the basis of race, it engages in the offensive and demeaning assumption that [students] of a particular race, because of their race, think alike.’ Such stereotyping is contrary to the ‘core purpose’ of the Equal Protection Clause.”
Mr. Izumi said, “The court declared unambiguously that eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.”

Communist Education Deep State

However, Mr. Izumi warned: “There’s always a way around things. Especially if you’re in the Communist Education Deep State.”
He said Mr. Roberts unfortunately included a caveat in his opinion, that schools can take into account applicant essays talking about racial backgrounds. So admissions officers can just use that to get around low test scores.
The epithet he uses for the university system, Communist Education Deep State, is appropriate—especially after he brought up a chapter in “The Great Parent Revolt” about Xi Van Fleet, who describes herself as “Chinese by birth; American by choice, survivor of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, defender of liberty.”
The chapter’s title is “From Communist China’s Cultural Revolution to American CRT.”
It reads: “There are three notable parallels between what happened in China half a century ago and what could happen in an open society engulfed by an orthodoxy of group think, racial identity politics, and dichotomous social relations.
“First, it is the arbitrary division of people on the basis of crude and often manufactured group characteristics. ... You are either an anti-racist or a racist, just like in Red China, you were either a revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary.
“Americans must be alarmed by CRT, she says, with its increasing demands for American students to become warriors and change agents in the names of social justice, diversity, equality, inclusion, and anti-racism, and other lofty goals unrelated to education. They are almost like today’s Red Guards. ...
“The second key resemblance is the suppression of free speech. ...
“A third prominent parallel is ‘reporting on others,’ because communists and dictators ‘depend on people to fight against each other.’”
Ms. Van Fleet tells her story more fully in her recent book, “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning.”

Destroying American Competitiveness

The Cultural Revolution kept China down economically until Deng Xiaoping’s post-Maoist partial restoration of meritocracy. Ironically, now it’s affirmative action and CRT that are destroying U.S. competitiveness against a China run by a Chinese Communist Party that still rules the country with a totalitarian hard fist but not in the same manner as the Cultural Revolution. (There are also indications that current dictator Xi Jinping’s repressions are affecting the economy. For example, The Wall Street Journal published an article on Nov. 14 headlined “Why Xi Can No Longer Brag About the Chinese Economy.")
I’ve written about this damage to the U.S. economy, in particular in my Epoch Times article “California’s Dumbed-Down Schooling Torpedoing US Defense vs. China, Russia.” And I asked Mr. Izumi about just that issue.
He replied: “That’s absolutely true. And one of the things that I’ve always said is that corporations are always trying to make it easier to get these STEM workers from overseas in order to fill these jobs, instead of doing what they should be doing and forcing the public schools to do a better job educating the children in our state or in our country. That’s why we pay all our taxes. In California, we spend $23,000 per child. It’s shocking the amount of money we spend.”
A man holds up a sign against critical race theory at a school board meeting in Temecula, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2022. (The Epoch Times)

A man holds up a sign against critical race theory at a school board meeting in Temecula, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2022. (The Epoch Times)

Conclusion: The Attack on Excellence Must End

Since Mr. Izumi and I have been writing about and working to reform education, there have been some victories. Prop. 209 and the recent Harvard case were big ones. So was the charter school reform of 30 years ago, which gave parents much greater access to better schools. Today, 11 percent of California K–12 public schools are charters. However, the Cultural Revolutionaries recently have been impeding the growth of that number.
The main problem remains the aptly named Communist Education Deep State, beginning with the powerful unions, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. They were wounded by the 2018 Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which banned mandatory union fee payments.
Other states are making school choice universal, including Arizona and Florida earlier this year. That means that parents can take a voucher to any school, public or private, to fund their kids’ educations. Louisiana’s governor-elect, Jeff Landry, promises to do so soon for the Bayou State.
California likes to brag that nationwide trends start here. But for education, that hasn’t been the case for 30 years. It’s time to catch up. We can’t afford to lose another generation to the Communist Education Deep State.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
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

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.