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The Four Anti-C's of Liberal Education

 

Remarks of State School Superintendent B'Raindea D'Lib, before the California Board of Education's Committee on Curriculum, Resources, and Underscoring Diversity (CRUD Committee):


Thank you, Madam Chair and members, for inviting me to address your committee regarding my office's proposals for updating the California Local Universal Education Language-Assisted Curriculum for K-12 - or CLUELACK, as it is usually cited - so that it better reflects the Board's established policy of creating a more inclusive, multicultural, and nondiscriminatory learning environment for all the children in our state's school systems.

As you know, since its original implementation in 1998, CLUELACK has served to help bridge the gap between the mere teaching of each required subject and the actual learning of it within the context of nontreatening, gender-neutral life exercises that impart to children important hands-on lessons about the real world and the society in which they live, as well as those with which they might interact.

Long past in our state is that outmoded formal catechism of "the Four R's" - Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Art - under which students mindlessly labored and were subjected to intimidating hardships and the constant fear of personal failure. In our enlightened modes and methodologies, children are taught the value of their own self-worth and the esteem that comes from expressing their respective and unique talents. Cooperation has replaced competition as the main emphasis for every learning objective; and the archaic forms of comparative or arbitrary grading assessments have given way to just one universally accepted norm that each student must be empowered with a feeling that she or he is truly special and that her or his recognized needs are always socially valid. I am happy to report, and indeed take great pride in the fact that our state continues to lead all others in the Nation with respect to student self-assessment scoring as well as cultural-awareness and learning destandardization initiatives. The progress we have made thus far has been possible only because your committee and the State Board of Education were courageous in both formulating and standing behind CLUELACK's provisions, subsequently ensuring its adoption by every local school system.

Under current California law, my office is charged with the task of informing your committee every two years about the successes achieved through the CLUELACK. Those successes were thoroughly detailed in my one-page written submission to the committee last month. The law also requires that I make or examine any and all necessary and proper proposals for improving the administration of CLUELACK's various programs, and report those proposals to the Curriculum, Resources, and Underscoring Diversity Committee.

Madam Chair and members, over the last two years my office has looked into a number of ways the objectives of CLUELACK may be expanded so as to increase every local system's compliance with the State Board's 2003 policy known as Inclusive, Multicultural, and Destandardized Utilization of More Bilingualism - or IMDUMB for short - in their curriculums. I have been impressed with how much IMDUMB has transformed our thinking about what works best not only inside but outside the classroom when it comes to assessing what professional educators refer to as a student's "cultural IQ." Before schools realized the depths to which IMDUMB could invigorate the scholastic experiences of our state's school children, each local system was trying - without much success - to prepare students for the nuanced lifestyle choices they would be expected to continually make while living in our modern cultures. Now with the benefit of knowing IMDUMB's guidelines, with the focus being on showing that IMDUMB can help each school achieve its scholastic goals, our classrooms are fast becoming places where the children are getting in touch with their respective cultural heritages and are learning to take on the responsibilities of multicultural acceptance.

My office has explored many possible proposals for reconfiguring CLUELACK so that the administration of its programs are in full keeping with the Board's IMDUMB policy. However, none has shown more promise than the proposal I am reporting to you today.

I alluded earlier to the old catechism of the Four R's. To emphasize the importance of increasing diversity across every aspect of the learning experience, my office has developed a new catechism that both replaces the old one and embraces the reality of IMDUMB's mandates and curricular integration. This new catechism demotes the negative aspects of America's historical promotion of various non-inclusive attitudes with regard to its socioeconomic, religious and geopolitical potentials.

The official title of my proposal is the "Four Anti-C's Teaching Instructions To Instill Our Universal Socialization." Referred to by its acronym, FACTITIOUS, this proposal encompasses the broader goals set down by IMDUMB and CLUELACK. Specifically, it eliminates the remaining non-diverse elements still present in our instructional methods by requiring all teachers to fully adopt tolerance-based pedagogical practices.

The supporting pillars of this FACTITIOUS proposal are the Four Anti-C's themselves - namely, Anti-Conservative, Anti-Christian, Anti-Capitalism, and Anti-Caucasian. To eliminate the oppressive tendencies inherent in promoting any of those C's inside our classrooms, FACTITIOUS would supply all K-12 educators with even greater amounts of bilingual teaching materials and guidelines. It would make available to them a number of counseling options that give the students themselves a chance, both individually and collectively, to examine any thoughts or ideas presented in the classroom, and to either accept those that conform to their diverse cultural perceptions or reject ones that they believe intentionally or inadvertently devalue any of their respective ethnic-minority heritages. Finally, FACTITIOUS would bring all children forward in a progressive program of liberalization, secularization, socialization, and globalization that enhances their understanding of themselves and others and enriches their appreciation of diverse cultures and communities.

The 387-page summary of my office's proposal is included with the full report. I would like to note that all the heads of our state's 97 bureaus, commissions, and agencies which fall under the California Department of Education have each signed it, altogether indicating their unanimous approval of the FACTITIOUS proposal. My office has also received official endorsements from all three of California's teachers associations that are represented on the State Board.

I would especially like to thank my staff for their hard work in preparing the text of this report. Their professionalism and support have been invaluable to me and to my office in the process of examining each possible proposal.

I look forward to working with your committee and will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have regarding the FACTITIOUS recommendations for incorporating CLUELACK with IMDUMB.

Thank you.
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