CA Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum: Final Review?

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As posted, the ESMC Third Field Review is supposed to be the final review. Comments are being accepted through January 21, 2021.

            Personally, I think they have more to do before they endorse the curriculum and the Sample Lesson Plans. I won’t say more than I submitted to them.

Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum 2021 Comments Joe Allen, Ph.D.                    

I will offer a few thoughts on Sample Lesson 7: US Housing Inequality: Redlining and Racial Housing Covenants.
              Based on the Lesson Purpose and Overview, this sample lesson focuses on a wide range of historical injustices with respect to home ownership and “the history of housing discrimination”. Identifying obstacles to the “American Dream” is important for the students’ future success in achieving the promises of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
             However, the lessons present only the historical problems, not the progress within the American political, economic, and social system that men and women of all racial and ethnic persuasions have realized. It presents the injustices as the only reality in today’s America.               Where are the positive role models who have achieved success through hard work and sacrifice? Where are the samples of legislation that has reversed some of the discriminatory institutional policies? Where is the story of those legislators of color (e.g., Assembly member Shirley Weber[Instructional Quality Commission Members]) who are successfully introducing legislation to support the students’ future success?
              And where are the national role models? Condoleezza Rice? Colin Powell? Students should read Extraordinary Ordinary People by Condoleezza Rice and My American Journey by Colin Powell. Former Secretary of State Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1954 while former Secretary of State Colin Powell was born in Harlem, New York in 1937. Their lives and family stories offer hope, not despair, for students.
              In fact, Retired General Powell offered a the following 13 inspirational rules in his 2012 book It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. This version of the list is taken from Can we apply Colin Powell’s 13 rules? (Texas Child Care Quarterly, Summer 2012, Volume 36 Number 1)

1. It ain’t as bad as you think! It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad and then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position so that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful whom you choose.
6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can’t make someone else’s decisions.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

              In 1997, Colin Powell and his wife, Alma Powell, founded America’s Promise. As stated on the About page at the website, “America’s Promise Alliance was born from The Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future held in Philadelphia in April 1997. That extraordinary event brought together thousands of leaders from across the country to refocus the nation’s attention on the needs of children and youth. Attended by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford (with Nancy Reagan representing President Reagan), and chaired by Ret. General Colin Powell, that gathering challenged America to make children and youth a top national priority.”
              This is Americans working together for Americans and for America.
              There needs to be a balance in the lesson plan that presents the state and federal governance process in a more positive light unless the objective is to exacerbate the incivility of January 6, 2021. The state of California needs to look really hard at the sample plans it will endorse in this program. If they only present injustices with no recourse other than demonstrations of despair and disgust, the students’ future is grim.
              What is California’s Promise?   Joe Allen Porterville, CA  

            Since this is the year of Saint Joseph, I will close with a prayer I recently learned. Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pray for Us,

and, as always, “Good night and good luck” (Edward R. Murrow).

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