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Published December 07, 2022

Action Alert: Contact the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Now to Reject the Woke War on Merit

Action AlertEthnic Studies

On December 9, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) will hold a public meeting in which an agenda item (1-H) concerns teacher credentialing. Alarmingly, this proposal seeks to give college graduates with an Ethnic Studies major credentials to teach 7-12 grade Social Studies and History (Appendix B (b) (9)).

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CFER

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Dear California parents, taxpayers and concerned citizens,

On this Friday (December 9), the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) will hold a public meeting in which an agenda item (1-H) concerns teacher credentialing. Alarmingly, this proposal seeks to give college graduates with an Ethnic Studies major credentials to teach 7-12 grade Social Studies and History (Appendix B (b) (9)).

Allowing unqualified candidates who are trained to indoctrinate rather than educate to teach in K-12 classrooms will surely compromise and erode the quality of public education further!

Since late 2020, CFER has raised public awareness and conducted multiple research projects on various problems with California's Ethnic Studies paradigm. In short, the current model to teach Ethnic Studies is hijacked by a race-based, oppressor-v.-victim model. Last year, California became the first state in the U.S. to mandate ethnic studies for all its public high schools, with the passage of AB101. The state-endorsed model framework, approved by the State Board of Education on March 18, 2022 in spite of over 7,000 opposing public comments, was laden with ideological jargon such as “four ‘I’s of oppression,” “critical consciousness,” “intersectionality,” “double helix,” and “radical healing.”

The finalized framework was so problematic that CFER sued the state contesting the constitutionality of two particular affirmations that chant repetitively to Aztec, Mayan and African deities. In higher education, the teaching of Ethnic Studies is thoroughly politicized.

CTC's proposal means Ethnic Studies majors are ill equipped to teach History and Social Studies. Their coursework, focused on the study of ethnicities through the controversial lenses of oppression, resistance and anti-racism, cannot generate subject matter competencies for such foundational courses.

Our friends at the Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies (ACES) first blew the whistle on this dangerous development. We must act now to defend academic standards:

  1. Please email the CTC today at execoffice@ctc.ca.gov to share your concerns about and oppositions to credentialing Ethnic Studies majors to teach History and Social Studies.
  2. Attend the CTC public meeting on Friday, December 9 at 8:30 via zoom and give a public comment voicing your objections.

You can use the following template provided by ACES:

Dear Members of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing,

We urge you to vote AGAINST the proposed Education Code change, Title 5, Division 8, Chapter 1, Article 3, §80096 Subject Matter Competency, (b) (9), enabling college graduates with a major in Ethnic Studies (ES) to automatically qualify for teaching History and Social Sciences in grades 7-12. This proposed change in credentialing is deeply harmful to our students for various reasons. Key among them:

  • Ethnic Studies at the university level imposes a specific ideological point of view, which is an inappropriate frame of reference for 7-12 grade History and Social Sciences. As noted by many experts and stated in California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, unlike at the university level, “In K–12 education it is imperative that students are exposed to multiple perspectives, taught to think critically and form their own opinions.” This is contradicted by university faculty members who state that their ES students must become "grounded in the correct politics." Imposing a one-sided political agenda is not good training, or a relevant lens, for teaching 7-12 grade History._

  • Ethnic Studies majors are not prepared by their coursework to teach 7-12 grade History and Social Sciences. Unlike other cross disciplines recommended in other subsections of the credentialing change, Ethnic Studies does not require any foundational courses in History, the subject they are supposedly qualified to teach. In contrast, it makes sense for someone who majors in mechanical or structural engineering to qualify for teaching 7-12 grade physics, since physics is a required prerequisite to obtain such a degree, and fundamental physics courses are part of that major. It does not make sense for Ethnic Studies majors to automatically be credentialed for something they haven’t even studied as part of their major._

  • The proposed ed code change goes against AB101’s legislative intent and the Governor’s promise, when vetoing AB 331, directing that offensive, one-sided, SBE-rejected Ethic Studies Model Curriculum material should not be taught in California high schools – yet that is EXACTLY what University Ethnic Studies classes teach, and their students who major in that subject would bring those messages into History and Social Science classrooms._

Ethnic Studies, or majors focusing on the study of ethnicities, should not be considered sufficient coursework for competency in teaching History / Social Sciences subject matter. Please vote against this proposal, or revise subsection (b) (9) of the proposal to remove “ethnic studies, or any other major with a focus on the study of one or more related ethnicities.”

Thank you for supporting merit and standards!

Contact:

Wenyuan Wu

wenyuan.wu@cferfoundation.org

(786) 393-8028

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):

We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.

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