December 9, 2021
California Federation of Republican Women
Sue Blair, President
Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee
Gretchen Cox, Elaine Freeman, Lou Ann Flaherty,
Val Emick, and Theresa Speake
At the October CFRW Convention, the CFRW membership approved a Resolution firmly opposing AB 101– the bill recently passed and signed into law that makes Critical Race Theory a requirement for high school graduation beginning with the 2029-2030 graduating class and requiring implementation of this curriculum in public and charter schools by 2025.HISTORY – The program put forth is provided by the Instructional Quality Commission made up of 13 member appointees by the Governor and Legislature. It is also referred to as the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Commission. This group worked on the guidelines for almost four (4) years and was not without controversy. There were over 100,000 comments provided critiquing the proposed ethnic studies model curriculum. The outcome is a set of guidelines and sample lesson plans covering four (4) major areas. Those include Black/African, Chicano, Native American, and Asian American references. After much controversy, the Commission added Jewish Americans, Arab Americans, and Sikh Americans. This program did not become mandatory until the Governor signed AB 101.
It should be noted that some African American organizations are not happy because the recommendations do not provide enough information about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. The same Commission is now considering applying the social justice paradigm to teaching K-12 math that would “erase white supremacy” from the subject and eliminate gifted classes for students. Proponents of this new math approach say the subject currently is taught with white supremacy. These folks say it handicaps minority students by insisting on what they consider racist concepts, such as arriving at the correct answer.
AB 101 – This bill, signed by the Governor, requires the completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies, meeting specified requirements to the graduation requirements commencing with pupils graduating in the 2029-30 school year, including for pupils enrolled in charter schools. The bill also authorizes local educational agencies, including charter schools, to require a full-year course in ethnic studies at their discretion. The bill would require local school districts, including charter schools, to offer an ethnic studies course commencing with the 2025-26 school year.
The bill will authorize, subject to the local agency/charter school, a pupil to satisfy the ethnic studies course requirement by completing either (A) a course based on the model curriculum in ethnic studies developed by the commission, (B) an existing ethnic studies course, (C) an ethnic studies course taught as part of a course that has been approved as meeting the A-G requirements of the University of California and the California State University, or (D) a locally developed ethnic studies course approved by the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school. The bill would prohibit a course that does not use ethnic studies content as the primary content through which the subject is taught, from being used to satisfy the ethnic studies course requirement.
RECOMMENDATION – Since the class does not have to be implemented until the 2025-26 year, and the bill allows the curriculum to be developed locally (see D above) parents and interested citizens should get involved, asking for a citizen’s committee to assist in the formation of the curriculum.
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