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Massachusetts Empowers Awakened Activists to Build Curriculum

Protesters walk past the Massachusetts State House following the death of George Floyd, in Boston, Massachusetts on June 3, 2020. (Brian Snyder / Reuters)

Bills proposed by the state legislature would allow left-wing interest groups to determine what children learn in schools.

As As battles over education intensify across the country, Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a series of measures to empower left-wing militant groups to set education policy for the state. On Monday, the state legislature’s joint education committee held a hearing that discussed, among other things, a bill to institute a “critical approach and pedagogy” for a curriculum. ethnicities, “decolonization” and the teaching of “social justice”.

“Anti-Racism, Equity and Justice in Education Law” is being carried out in the Massachusetts lower house by members Nika Elugardo and Erika Uyterhoeven, both of whom identify as socialists, under the name of H.584. In the state senate (as S.365), he is supported by the chairman of the education committee, Jason Lewis.

This bill shows how the ratchet of ideological transformation works. One of the central power mechanisms for the ‘Great Awakening’ is to take charge of key political and civil society bottlenecks – from accrediting organizations to human resources offices in large companies – to to impose increasing demands on American life. With “a law relating to anti-racism, equity and justice in education,” the Massachusetts legislature would invent a commission, with members chosen by militant groups, to act as an engine of ideological agitation. perpetual in state government.

The bill proclaims “that education on the dismantling of racism be taught to all students, that teachers and school counselors be trained in pedagogy and practices that uplift students of all ethnicities and origins,” [and] that truth and reconciliation regarding slavery, genocide, land theft and systemic racism are centered ”in the Bay State agenda.

To this end, the bill would establish a “Commission for Combating Racism and Equity in Education” which could weigh in on a range of issues. An “anti-racism and equity in education trust fund” established by the bill would see its funds used with the “consultation and recommendation” of the commission. In addition, this commission would advise the State Department of Primary and Secondary Education on a multitude of issues:

(i) Develop educational material from a social justice perspective to dismantle racism and advise the department on improving the framework of history and social sciences.

(ii) Ensure that ethnic studies, racial justice, the history of decolonization and unlearning racism are taught at all school levels using a critical approach and age-appropriate pedagogy.

(iii) advise the department on how to ensure fairness in the Massachusetts Test for Education Licensure; and

(iv) Ensure that teachers and school counselors have access to professional development that promotes equitable and inclusive curriculum and pedagogy and practices that support racial justice.

The range of responsibilities of this commission would therefore cover everything from curriculum and professional development to licensing of teachers.

The bill essentially replaces a number of militant groups by giving them the power to choose the members of this committee. Teacher unions, the ACLU and other groups would determine who would sit on the “Commission to Combat Racism and Equity in Education”. According to the text of the bill, each of these groups would choose a member for the commission: the Massachusetts Teachers Association; the American Federation of Teachers of Massachusetts; the Boston Teachers Union; Massachusetts Association of School Principals; Massachusetts Association of School Boards; the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs; the Collaborative of American Institutes of Asian, Native American, Latin American and African American Origin at the University of Massachusetts in Boston; the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts; the North American Indian Center in Boston; the NAACP, Boston branch; the Greater Boston Council on Jewish Community Relations; the Massachusetts Community Action Network; the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance; the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth; the Cape Verdean Association of Boston; the Asian American Commission; and the Massachusetts Parents Union.

This way of constituting the commission would ensure the domination of a coalition of left and nested groups. For example, three of the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) member organizations are the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Boston Teachers Union, and the American Federation of Massachusetts Teachers, each of which can also choose a commission member. Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, which is the parent organization of the Parents Union of Massachusetts, is another MEJA member.

At the time of writing, no vote on the bill has yet been scheduled. However, some large organizations have started to mobilize for its passage. For example, the Massachusetts Teachers Association has approved this offer.

This is not the only curriculum reform proposed by members of the Massachusetts legislature. “An Act Teaching Anti-Racism in Massachusetts Schools” (H.3718) would create a commission to develop a compulsory “anti-racism” curriculum that would cover most academic subjects (including science, health, English and language education). ‘story). “A law to establish an integrated cultural studies curriculum in our schools” (H.689) would create a council that would establish a statewide curriculum in “integrated cultural studies”, which according to legislation, is “the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity.” “This bill explicitly proposes to use racial categories to determine the composition of this committee – requiring, for example, that the board include” six teachers of color. “

These bills highlight how the formalization of “awakened” doctrines in education is often a top-down effort involving collaboration between militant cadres and the state apparatus. However, in a democratic society, the use of state power is itself a matter of public contestation. While some state lawmakers aim to install a bureaucracy that will impose various identity ideologies, Massachusetts residents – parents, teachers and concerned citizens – might have a very different point of view.

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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.