OSPI releases Ethnic Studies Framework rules, the next step in implementing Critical Race Theory in public schools

By LIV FINNE  | 
Oct 13, 2021
BLOG

Last week on October 8th, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced an “Ethnic Studies Framework” that it wants taught in Washington public schools.  The Framework introduces Critical Race Theory into Washington classrooms, and further reduces academic standards by shifting students from learning to lessons in “dismantling of white supremacy, both ideologically and in practice.” (OSPI, “Ethnic Studies History and Pedagogy, page 6.)

Critical Race Theory (CRT) tells students that their individuality is not based on their intrinsic worth as human persons, but as members of a color group, based on their perceived outward appearance.  It tells students that if school officials identify student as white, Jewish or Asian they are oppressors.  If they are seen as black, Hispanic or part of another group they are oppressed.

OSPI’s new Ethnic Studies Framework is sweeping in its scope.  It weaves CRT ideas into state academic learning standards in Art, English Language Arts, Environmental and Sustainability Education, Computer Science, Health, and Social Studies, as shown here, at the "Content Standards Alignment with Ethnic Studies." 

To give one example, the Social Studies Learning Standard, SSS2.9-12.3 for grades 9-12 requires students to:

“Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, or global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.” 

The Framework promotes a range of left-wing political causes, including seeking to censor and cancel the voices of dissenting students. (See page 9 of the OSPI document posted here, the "Washington Ethnic Studies Framework.")

One recommended book, “Rethinking Ethnic Studies,” includes political symbols associated with left-wing politics and encourage engagement in “insurgent lessons.”

“...these insurgent lessons teach us that Ethnic Studies pedagogy must continue to transcend the confines of classroom walls and take learning into the streets and local community.” (“Rethinking Ethnic Studies,” Cati V. De Los Rios, pages 59 and 60.)

OSPI’s Ethnic Studies Framework will consume precious classroom time and distract student from learning valuable academic content in math, reading, science and history. This new ideology will lower the quality of academic learning in the schools, and promote the teaching of racial hatred in Washington’s classrooms.

In May Governor Inslee signed SB 5044, to introduce Critical Race Theory in public elementary schools and high schools.  The just-announced Ethnic Studies Framework regulations represent the next step in implementing Critical Race Theory in Washington public schools.  The resulting controversy is an added reason that explains why so many parents are seeking learning alternatives for their children.  Over the last year some 50,000 students have left the public system.  Across the country legislatures in 18 states have created or expanded school choice programs in response to popular demand from parents. 

We can expect this trend to continue, especially as officials in Washington state promote political and racialist ideas, and continue to degrade the academic quality of learning in the public system.

 

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