Nearly 2,000 petition UC to reject “politically motivated, academically vacuous, and extremely harmful proposal”
For the first time in over 20 years, and only the second time in nearly a century, the University of California (UC) is considering adding a new admission requirement that will force all California high schools to teach the controversial and antisemitic “Liberated” ethnic studies curriculum, exposes a new petition from more than a thousand UC students, faculty, parents, alumni and donors and California taxpayers. “As UC stakeholders, we are outraged and appalled that a small group of activists seeking to circumvent state law and contravene the will of the public, state legislators, the Governor and top education officials, have been allowed to hijack UC’s faculty governance process for their own political and financial gain,” wrote the petitioners to the UC Academic Council, which is currently considering the proposal. The petitioners note that this “ill-conceived and dangerous proposal” is the direct result of a small group of activist-educators; it has absolutely no educational merit or justification; and it will unleash hatred and bigotry, especially antisemitism, into California’s public, charter and private schools. The petitioners also expose that the proposal originated from a UC Berkeley student activist, and that the six-member “UC Faculty Ethnic Studies Working Group” responsible for writing the UC new admissions requirement course criteria are proponents of the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition (LESMC). In addition, point out the petitioners, if this proposal passes it will be a financial bonanza for LESMC, raising serious questions about the legitimacy of the UC approval process. LESMC is the educational consulting group whose leaders had drafted the initial ethnic studies curriculum roundly rejected by Governor Newsom, the State Board of Education, all Jewish communal organizations, and California’s Jewish Legislative Caucus, whose members warned that such a curriculum would “marginalize Jewish students and fuel hatred and discrimination against the Jewish community.” The State Board of Education later drafted a new curriculum that omitted all the antisemitic content, and a law was passed making ethnic studies a California high school graduation requirement.
The new California law, however, permits individual school districts to adopt whichever curriculum they prefer – the state’s recommended curriculum or a Liberated version. Due to this loophole, LESMC continues to promote its overtly anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist curriculum and consulting services to school districts across California. And the criteria for the new UC requirement, as crafted by LESMC proponents, will force every high school in the state, including California private schools to choose Liberated. This will even apply to religious schools that firmly reject the curriculum’s ideological tenets, moral valuations and coerced political activism, and would be in direct violation of the California Education code, which protects the autonomy of local school districts and private schools in developing appropriate curricula for their students.