Written By Brett Cooper
Long gone are the days when education was a platform for teaching reasoning, critical thinking, and character. Public and private schools alike — beginning in pre-school — are using curricula as a means to push a progressive political agenda.
On March 18, 2021, after four years of contentious writing and revision, California’s State Board of Education approved the nation’s first Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum for its K-12 Schools. An adjunct to history, the Ethnic Studies curriculum utilizes Critical Race Theory to unpack the presumed white supremacy and oppression faced by minorities in America. The highly politicized program is specifically designed to “inspire …pupils to participate in ‘social movements that struggle for social justice’ and ‘build new possibilities for a post-racist, post-systemic racism society.” Over the course of its long development, concerned parents, academics, and critics tirelessly fought the curriculum for its politically-charged biases, Marxist undertones, and anti-Semitism. With California’s adoption of an official ethnic studies curriculum, more states are expected to follow suit.
While the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause – which prevents government from establishing an official religion – has long kept faith practices out of public schools, the removal of religion from state schools will no longer apply through the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. Rather than joining in an American affirmation such as the Pledge of Allegiance, teachers will lead students in a daily “community chant” celebrating indigenous Aztec gods: Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, Xipe Totek, and Tezkatlipoka (the latter deity commonly worshipped through cannibalism and human sacrifice). The goal of the Ethnic Studies Model is explicitly to “decolonize” American society and inspire a “regeneration of indigenous epistemic and cultural futurity.” A far cry from mere inclusivity or spreading “awareness” through education, the K-12 curriculum seeks to overhaul our country’s ideology through the exploitation of students.
Public schools are not the only arena where American education is under attack. In elite private institutions like Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles and The Dalton School in Manhattan, Critical Race Theory – the curriculum based on the narrative of white supremacy – has long taken flight. Private school students are being groomed to hate their country and to look at every situation and subject through the lens of racism. In addition, since the Black Lives Matters protests of 2020, many progressive institutions are even administering tests to gauge their students’ racism. Long gone are the days when education was a platform for teaching reasoning, critical thinking, and character. Public and private schools alike — beginning in pre-school — are using curricula as a means to push a progressive political agenda.
As indoctrination in United States education roots, the influence of parents in their children’s education is being eroded. In North Carolina, the state’s largest school district, Wake County Public School System, caused a stir when they announced that parents “should be considered an impediment to social justice” and that teachers are encouraged to override any parental pushback against the district’s Critical Race curriculum.
Wake County’s official Equity in Action plan states that teachers and equity leaders can “draw on a heartfelt conviction for what is best for students and families,” essentially stripping parents of their autonomy in determining the moral foundation of their children.
This fact is made abundantly clear by a situation actively unfolding in Virginia’s affluent and progressive Loudoun County, a suburb of Washington, D.C.. As Loudoun County Public Schools began pushing for Critical Race Theory in their curriculum, Loudoun County parents opposed to the CRT narrative met and organized against their children’s indoctrination. Threatened by the opposition to Critical Race Theory, over 600 teachers, school board members, and “woke” parents formed a Facebook group, “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County”, and took defensive action. The Facebook group targeted parents who opposed the CRT curriculum, exposed their “perceived wrongs,” and circulated personal information including where their opponents live and work.
The group of attacked families, Parents Against Critical Race Theory, quickly engaged law enforcement for protection and created a GoFundMe to support their efforts. As the fundraiser gained traction in mid-March, however, members of the Loudoun County School Board Equity Committee urged the community and school board officials to report the GoFundMe page. Within three days, the crowdfunding giant removed the fundraiser under the guise of “prohibited conduct,” offering no other explanation. Not only did teachers and administrators tread on the rights of concerned parents to voice concerns about their children’s education, but Big Tech exerted its stronghold to censor and silence their objections.
Today’s curriculum reform is eerily suggestive of the manner in which Communist China built its educational system. In the tactics of the Chinese Communist Party, there is little distinction between education, propaganda, and indoctrination. Led by Xi Jinping, the CCP alters history in their textbooks, politicizes standardized tests, and preaches socialist values, all with the goal of having State ideals “melt in their hearts, and [carved] them into their brains.” Xi stated in a speech at a Beijing primary school, “any ideological concept that is to be established in the whole society and to have a long-term effect must start with the children.” As such, the parallels between the Chinese and American education systems are becoming too sharp to ignore. America’s educational landscape has fully morphed into a fight between the establishment and the individual.
As both public and private schools are actively infiltrated by progressive ideologies, homeschooling prevails as the last educational method where parents are able to be involved and protect their children from philosophies that go against their values. To top it off, home education produces students with exceptionally strong academic track records due to the benefits of fully customizable curriculums, adaptations to student’s learning style, and greater opportunities for community involvement. The standardized test scores, GPAs, and college acceptance rates of homeschool students are statistically better than those of students in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Combined with the benefit of educational freedom, homeschooling is a viable and enticing opportunity for concerned parents.
While homeschooling numbers continue to grow at rapid rates, adversaries to the homeschool movement push a different narrative. In the summer of 2020, Harvard Law’s Child Advocacy Program organized a summit to discuss the “Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform” within home education. What followed was a highly controversial article published in Harvard Magazine supporting the restriction — and possible abolition — of the right to homeschool.
Professor Elizabeth Bartholet (Harvard Law School) led the summit and was quoted in the article saying that:
“the government [has] some right to educate children” and that children should grow up exposed to “democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoint.”
While those can be perceived as virtuous values, they were listed in response to Bartholet noting the significant numbers of conservative and Christian families who choose to homeschool their children, calling the parents “‘extreme religious ideologues” who question science and promote female subservience and white supremacy” while trying to “remove their children from mainstream culture.” Bartholet concluded her thoughts by asserting that these families are a threat to democracy.
It is obvious that free-thinking, non-traditional, homeschool families are interrupting the progressive educational agenda, and as a result, they should stay the course…just like the rightfully-concerned public and private school parents should continue their battle over educational content. At a time when the United States is seeing an unprecedented surge of politically charged education, engagement and vigilance is critical. With each new curriculum adopted, group censored, and family silenced, America moves further away from freedom and closer to indoctrinated group-think. Education is a society’s most powerful tool. “Let me control the textbooks, and I will control the State,” proclaimed Adolf Hitler. If society’s parents and leaders look aside while the next generation is educated and indoctrinated with anti-American tenets, the country we know will be lost.