California likes to think of itself as the brain center of the universe, but increasingly much of that intellectual content comes from somewhere else. Once a leader in educational innovation and performance, California is now toward the bottom of the pack.
Despite these failings, the powerful California Teachers Association, emboldened by the huge Democratic gains in 2018, continues to push an aggressive and fundamentally reactionary approach to education, spending upwards of a million a month to curtail the surge of innovative charter schools in the state. This is particularly critical in lower-income communities, such as the East Bay, central Orange County and Los Angeles, where the state’s public schools have consistently failed and where some charters have made considerable strides through reforms and innovations.
But nothing has been more illustrative of the political agenda of our educational establishment than the recent draft curriculum for an “ethnic studies” course for the state’s schools. Although this curriculum has created a firestorm of opposition and is unlikely to be adopted as is, the fact is the curriculum reflected a far-left agenda that is deeply entrenched in the educational establishment.