Anaheim Elementary School District To Incorporate Race-Based Ethnic Studies Into Curriculum

Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education President J. Paolo Magcalas.

The Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education unanimously voted last month to incorporate politically-charged Ethnic Studies into its elementary school curriculum.

The resolution passed by the Board praises Ethnic Studies as a movement that focuses on “the history, culture, language and literature of people of color in the United States and globally” and “validates the shared experiences, culture and heritage of all students, especially for young Black and Latino students.”

The Board resolution further claims such “culturally responsive awareness and teaching” helps students learn and closes achievement gaps, although no supporting evidence is provided in the Board agenda. In fact, no documentation is included in the agenda other than the resolution itself.

The AESD Board directed district staff to “provide curricula that reflect the diversity of students and staff, and which are geared towards the understanding and appreciation of culture, class, language, ethnicity and other differences that contribute to the uniqueness of each student and staff member.”

In other words, grade schoolers will be taught to think of themselves less as individuals than as members of racial/ethnic/linguistic sub-group or an economic class. The AESD will purposefully teach them their uniqueness stems from their group identity.

The AESD Board of Education has voted infuse identity politics into K through 6th grade curriculum. That is what Ethnic Studies is: progressive political indoctrination masquerading as academics.

The AESD Board of Education is dominated by left-wing political activists and their go-along-to-get-along allies.  The Board president, J. Paolo Magcalas, teaches Ethnic Studies at Loara High School. He was elected to the AESD Board in 2016 because no other candidates ran. He is seeking election to a second term this November.

Indeed, it was Magcalas who brought Ethnic Studies into the Anaheim Union High School District. And his motive was to alter the political consciousness of students. He even published a paper explaining his belief that traditional U.S. history curriculum is “oppressive” and that he, as an American history teacher, had been an “oppressor.”

Magacalas resolved to bring Ethnic Studies to AUHSD in order to “liberate” the minds of students. Magcalas – who is running for a second term on the AESD Board of Education – is a vocal advocate for making Ethnic Studies a high school graduation requirement.

Another Board member, Juan G. Alvarez, is also a far-left political activist and AUSHD teacher. Several weeks ago, Alvarez opined on Facebook of his desire to “demolish” all walls and fences along the U.S.-Mexican border and pledged to use his “privilege” to fight for “no borders.”.

Magcalas published a celebratory Facebook post immediately after the Board vote:

Ethnic Studies is often misunderstood as simply teaching students about other cultures – like a world history or anthropology class.  That is not the case. Ethnic Studies’ is aimed at getting youth to primarily identify as members of an historically oppressed group – regardless of their actual circumstances. It is premised on the belief that racism is still rampant in American society, and that students of color need to seek their authentic identity via their race or ethnicity or class. It encourages them to engage in “civic action” as members of their identity group, not as individual citizens who adhere to a common republican creed of equality and natural rights.

It is intrinsically political – something its proponents do not deny. Indeed, the theme of the upcoming Ethnic Studies Summit at Chapman University is “Situating the Personal as Political“:

The Ethnic Studies course that Magcalas teaches at Loara High School is based on the pedagogy of a Marxist academic. On the walls of his classroom hang tributes to radical revolutionaries such as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and the murderous Cuban communist Che Guevara. Magcalas views Thanksgiving as a racist holiday that should be “de-colonized.

Magcalas is far from alone. Anaheim Councilman Jose F. Moreno – who wields considerable influence in both the Anaheim high school and elementary school districts – is a huge proponent of Ethnic Studies ideology.  So is AUHSD Superintendent Michael Matsuda and AUHSD teacher Carolyn Torres – who was recently elected to the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education. Jose Lara, the vice principal at Dale Junior High School, is an outspoken advocate of making Ethnic Studies a high school graduation requirement. To Lara,the mere absence of Ethnic Studies courses in a school district is prima facie evidence of “structural racism.” Lara used to ran an after-school learning center in Los Angeles where students were taught to view Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh as role models.

The Anaheim Elementary School District has some of the worst-ranked schools in the county.  The AESD Board and district leadership ought to focus on doing their real job – providing the students in their charge with a quality education – rather than expending time, money and energy to incorporate ideological indoctrination into their school curriculum.  This latest folly from the AESD’s left-wing Board of Education confirms the wisdom of the Palm Lane Elementary parents who overcame underhanded maneuvering and expensive litigation from the district to break away and re-start Palm Lane as a charter school.

14 comments

  1. I am so glad Measure B failed. Sad day for Anaheim students as these”educators” are failing them. So happy for Palm Lane parents. Watch how many more students/schools will leave the district. Anaheim schools are known to be terrible and theirs scores reflect as much. The regime running the district needs to be investigated and audited. These are educators? Poor kids

  2. What crap. These radical militant Hispanic board members need to be removed from the board since they do not represent all students white/European students. What in the hell is the matter with the “white” parents allowing these racist to sit on the school board?

    • This group has a strong foothold in our Anaheim schools. They are trying to do the same in other areas in Anaheim. They help each other get elected and then they continue by finding others within their movement and get them elected too. Anaheim must pay attention and not vote for anyone of them. Look at who they sympathize with. This regime all needs to go, starting with Matsuda, Lara, Magcalas, the Alvarez’ and Morenos’. Anaheim’s youth are being ruined. Failing schools, failing scores, low enrollment, and they never have enough of our money. What more do we need to see? Run them out and clean up our schools.

      • This conservative trashy blog needs to be shut down. You can feel the hate as you read your articles. Ethnic studies is wonderful and trying to shut it down is akin to shutting down our culture. We won’t let you do it.

    • Ethnic Studies FTW

      Are you serious? AUHSD is majority Latino (67.8% as of 2017) If you think representation in the curriculum is bad, then you should take a deeper look at yourself. The current curriculum already represents White people. There is no shortage of that. They deserve to be represented and learn about their history in the US from their perspective not one of White people.

    • Ethnic Studies FTW

      You know what’s sad? It’s that you think that Black, Latino, and Asian people getting rightfully represented in the curriculum is propaganda and racist. And that’s on having White privilege that makes you blind to reality. This school district is majority Latino by the way.

  3. The rule by indigenous Indians, the Spanish, The Russians, The Mexicans, The Republic of California…..all gone. On Sept. 9th 1850 California became a State. Rule by these other countries and cultures ended. Did they contribute? Yes. Should they be identified as being the determining factor for California once being a great State? No. They are part of the fabric of our history. One thread does not make a quilt. People of many nations and regions helped create this State. Shouldn’t the Chinese, Scandinavians, Mormons, Jews, Portuguese, Japanese, Eastern European, Italians etc have their own individual CA history curriculum then taught? No. Teach CA history as a whole without highlighting certain groups over others. It is understood that Spain had the greatest impact in this State prior to CA joining the Union. Incorporate them all but stop attempting to end Racism by discriminating. Racism will never be irradiated as long as the ‘Race Card’ keeps being thrown into everyone’s faces.

    • Exactly!!! Strengthening people’s racial identity only creates increasing racism. Teach all the different rich culture to kids but they should not be encouraged to form their identity from their race. Besides a large % of our population is multi racial already. Race should be omitted off of every questionnaire other than for medical reasons. We are the human race.

      • Ethnic Studies FTW

        You have good intentions but are very blind to the fact that this country is already divided on the basis of race. Ethnic studies are beneficial for students of color and White students alike. It has been proven in countless research studies. Saying “we are the human race” does not erase the fact that racism still exists in the US, just more subtly than in the past. Erasing race has the opposite effect.

        • I would be interested in seeing the studies that Ethnic Studies proponents are always citing. Still, count me skeptical because proponents of every educational fad always claim “studies show” their approach/method/ideology results in improve outcomes.

          Secondly, teaching children to be even MORE race-conscious – and to blame life’s hurdles on their skin color and “structural racism – only deepens the divisions. On the other hand, it probably is politically beneficial to those politicians and SJWs who adhere to grievance-based politics.

    • Ethnic Studies FTW

      You’re not getting the point. If you’ve been through the AUHSD or even just the US education system you would realize that the history that is taught in classrooms is very Eurocentric and does not represent minorities well at all. It portrays racism as a thing of the past which is why so many people today believe we will in a post-racial society. You couldn’t be more wrong. AUHSD is 67.8% Latino/Hispanic and they deserve to see themselves represented in history. This would not be a problem if history books and curriculum weren’t so centered on White people. The fact that I grew up celebrating Columbus Day as a holiday and made Native American headdress crafts going to Landell Elementary which is in Cypress School District is not acceptable whatsoever. It wasn’t until 7th grade in an AUHSD school that I learned about the atrocities that Columbus committed. Our history is always taught through the White perspective and there is no mention of Black people’s history except for slavery and the civil rights movement. Racism is not discussed as something wrong and unacceptable. There are just so many problems with the current curriculum. It’s important to have these ethnic studies classes required so that students of color can learn the reality of this society which is that racism exists. This does not teach them to hate White people or feel oppressed. It makes them feel empowered to fight against racism and find their identities. This is all according to research by the way.

      • Wow- Liz has really changed. I have known her for a long time and she has really lost her mind. I happen to believe that there is a place for more teaching of ethnic studies in our classes and the research that I have seen shows it can be empowering. I have also seen research that shows that when the teachers and policy makers have political motives, the lessons can be quite divisive and even make some students feel like they are victims. The Moreno, Matsuda, Jabbar, Rueles Randle-Trejo group is very politically motivated, they are also very selfish and driven to make money by playing the race card and victim card. Sad to see Liz has joined the group, makes me wonder what’s in it for her? I expect to see her name on a ballot soon or maybe another cushy district job like Rueles and Matsuda’s sister.

  4. Keep up your reporting/exposing Anaheim Blog. What is happening in our schools should be reported on. The taxpayers have the right to know and more importantly so do the parents.

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