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.
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
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.