Notes on Ethnic Studies Climate

Johanna Markind:

Unlike California, Washington state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction approved an ethnic studies framework rather than a specific curriculum. As blogger Emily Alhadeff explained, “Without a curriculum, educators who wish to engage with ethnic studies will need to seek out their own professional development, resources, and materials. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the State Board of Education contracted with WAESN [Washington Ethnic Studies Now] for professional development. WAESN is open and ready for business.” Daily Wire elaborated on this: “In March 2021… the Washington State Board of Education voted unanimously to require its own members and staff to take eighteen hours of training from the nonprofit Washington Ethnic Studies Now (WAESN).”

Alhadeff also noted, “WAESN is honest about its vision to take Critical Race Theory mainstream, which counters many claims that CRT is an obscure legal tool that never sees the light of the school day.”

Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium (LESMCC) is pursuing a similar strategy to that of WAESN. According to allegations in a pending federal lawsuit, LESMCC is working in coordination with United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA). UTLA is an LA teachers’ union and affiliateof the National Education Association.

LESMCC is the group behind the 2019 model curriculum that California rejected for anti-Semitism. Since that rejection, LESMCC has marketed its version of ethnic studies privately to school districts.