AUHSD To Teachers: You Can Drop Curriculum, Talk About Coronarivus For Rest Of Semester

The Anaheim Union High School District has extended its school closures through the May 21 – the end of the academic year. AUSHD teachers and students will try to continue education in their various subjects an requirements via remote learning.

Or not.

Last week, Superintendent Michael Matsuda gave AUHSD teachers permission to stop teaching from the established curriculum and instead spend the rest of the semester talking COVID-19 with their students.

The district issued a press release announcing a “capstone project” in which teachers and students will grapple with the “Driving Question” of “How Is The Coronavirus Affecting Your Life?

The district characterized the devastating COVID-19 pandemic as a “a great opportunity to make a great moment” – calling it an “opportunity for a teachable moment” that would make “education relevant for students during school dismissals.”

To that end, Matsuda is permitting – encouraging, actually – teacher to “pivot” from the traditional curriculum that students and their parents are expecting and instead spend the “remainder of the year” focused on the COVID-19 Capstone.

Isn’t a good education supposed to be relevant for its own sake? Is AUHSD curriculum so poor that it has to be made “relevant” by abandoning the normal course of studies to spend two months talking about what everyone is already experiencing and talking about 24/7?

No doubt, many AUSHD teachers would prefer use this time to actually teach

The district’s press release goes on to gush that “AUHSD will be showcasing the process and final products of projects via social media to the community starting today on Facebook and Instagram.”

Many AUHSD students may not learn what they’re supposed to be learning this semester, but there will sure be some cracking content for the district’s robust PR operation to pump out on social media.

The district’s self-congratulatory press goes on to explain how this “pivot” is a manifestation of AUHSD being a “civically engaged district.”

What the AUHSD has become under Superintendent Mike Matsuda is a highly political district.  Matsuda is a progressive political activist and former candidate who actively endorses and donates to local candidates in Anaheim and neighboring cities.  “Civic engagement” is the innocuous catch-phrase used by Matsuda and his followers to describe using taxpayer resources to cultivate progressive political activism by their students – which is then channeled into the political campaigns of candidates and causes supported by Matsuda and Councilman Jose F. Moreno.

The district press release makes repeated use of the phrase “teachable moment.”  In 2016, Matsuda used that same phrase to excuse the AnaheimBROS student club for referring to its leadership as the Politburo – the term for the governing body of a Communist Party.

The district and the club’s faculty advisors – including Anaheim Elementary School District trustee Ryan Ruelas – allowed the boys to use this oppressive term, which is  drenched in innocent blood. It was only when this writer brought it to their attention that the BROS were directed to abandon it. When I asked Matsuda why Ruelas allowed the students to call themselves the Politburo – Ruelas is a history teacher and ought to know better – Matsuda told me “This is a teachable moment.” Indeed, he pivoted back to that cliche in response to my every question.

Students are confined to their homes because of COVID-19. Their normal lives – and those of their parents – have been disrupted and activities circumscribed because of COVID-19. This writer’s guess is their parents would prefer their children receive an actual, traditional education during this extraordinary time, rather than spending their instructional time talking about the pandemic that everyone is already talking about all the time, anyway.

8 comments

  1. Unreal. These poor kids. Maybe they should be spending time with a better history/civics program while they’re off.

  2. It’s unfortunate that some school districts have become “political.” There are some educators out there that are using the educational platform to indoctrinate students.

  3. Adrian McEachren

    You parents in Anaheim school districts need to put a stop to what is going on in your city. They are trying the same thing here in Pico Rivera and we are stopping them. They will go after your children and teach them to hate America, Law Enforcement, the Military and those who serve. They will be taught to hate white people and they will refer to them as the “oppressors”. They will push this through ethnic studies. Jose Lara is the main one. He’s a VP at Dale Jr high

  4. At ERUSD in Pico Rivera, the term “Civic Engagement” was also being thrown around by Board Member Jose Lara (who is currently vice principal at Dale Jr High). I’d agree with the writer that the term is a synonym for “progressive political activism” since Lara & his fellow allies on the board did not like it when “civically engaged” ERUSD students spoke out against Jose Lara’s unprofessionalism and corruption at board meetings. They only like student “civic engagement” when it follows their party line. — The district even went so far as recognizing and awarding students for participating in a “climate awareness action” when students were bused to a protest in DTLA. Pico Rivera ERUSD parents, teachers, students, alumni, etc were fed up with Jose Lara’s aspirations to “indoctrinate not educate” and achieved the herculean task of getting a recall election on ballot to recall Jose Lara. Lara unsurprisingly decided to resign prior to the recall election.

  5. Poor students of AUHSD they are losing so much education time. This can affect their futures. The district should be investigated. What are they doing with the money the get? Failing the kids once again. Parents should demand answers. The State of California should demand answers.

    • Adrian McEachren

      Follow Sons if Pico on Twitter. You’ll be able to see what we’ve been able to accomplish here in Pico Rivera, against Jose Lara, who is a member of Union del Barrio. A radical Communist organization. Research them and inform your city.

    • Adrian McEachren

      Sons of Pico*

  6. Can AUHSD leaders do this? Is it legal? Do they still get funding? Most schools are still teaching. If they are not they should not be paid. Come on Anaheim raise the bar. AUHSD shameful. The students deserve so much better.

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