California Education Code states that school districts must “promote” public review in the process of selecting instructional materials, but is it all a sham? Readers will recall that the Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) recently invited the public to “view instructional materials under consideration for adoption” a couple of weeks ago. The public would also have evaluation forms provided on-site if they wished to fill them out.
The California Department of Education, in an online FAQ (#20), quotes Ed Code section 60002: “Each district board shall provide for substantial teacher involvement in the selection of instructional materials and shall promote the involvement of parents and other members of the community in the selection of instructional materials.” The DSUSD checks the required box for “promoting” the involvement of the community, to a certain point. How much of that “involvement” goes toward the actual “selection of instructional materials” is rather dubious, according to a community member that recently partook in the process.
The district did extend an invite to the community, but it was first and foremost to “view” instructional materials. View, like in a museum, you walk through and view the exhibits. While the district did inform the community that any evaluation forms filled out would become part of the selection process, the district did not provide any forms beforehand.
A community member that recently participated in the instructional material evaluation process contacted Desert Truth. The community member asked us not to use their real name, so we’ll use “CM” instead. According to CM, the process was not simple and the evaluation forms definitely not designed for anyone outside of the education profession. CM expressed that “the Evaluation form was not written for the average person” and “I had no idea what I was suppose to be looking for or at.” CM said that it “…is folly too to expect the average person to evaluate AP text books. Especially without any explanations and support by the professionals who are allegedly inviting the public to evaluate instructional material.”
CM was kind enough to provide Desert Truth with the forms, seen below.
The first evaluation box, “Content/Alignment with the Standards,” alone would set the average John Q. Public back hours in research, for each subject! Average John Q., outside of the education profession, does not have an intimate, working knowledge of the Education Code, Content Standards, or Frameworks for courses. That knowledge could be gained, however, if the proper notice were given that it was needed.
For instance, take a look at the California Education Code. Go ahead, I’ll wait a few weeks for you to get through it. When finished with the Education Code, proceed to the Content Standards for regular science, and then the science framework. Best of luck, I should still be here next month!
Wasn’t that fun? The rest of the forms are much of the same education bureaucratic (educrat)-speak–gibberish to those not an educrat. The point is, these forms are not created for the public, thus the public’s participation in the evaluation process for instructional materials is greatly diluted. The public is concerned that instructional material is appropriate for children and not full of CRT/DEI indoctrination. Yet, nowhere on the forms did it ask the public for their opinions on those important topics. In addition, instructional material was presented by just two publishers that the district had already chosen, so the standards alignment work was already completed. What if the public largely found both publishers unacceptable?
CM went into the evaluation process “particularly interested in looking at in the Literature text book as it related to traditional literature i.e. Shakespeare since the woke have tried to erase Shakespeare from history.” CM reported that the “usual classics” and most “Traditional authors” were not present in the instructional materials. The lack of classics in the material, caused CM to look for “division” stating “...I said let’s see if BLM is in here and BINGO there it was #BLM.“
CM then demonstrates that John Q. Public has a better working knowledge than the educrats do. Most of the population is aware of BLM’s marxist roots and the $2 billion dollars of damage they are responsible for in the 2020 riots. “I was not surprise to see that the history of BLM was written to suit the narrative around social justice. No where did they mention BLM as a Marxist organization….” The omission was offensive to CM, who found the presentation “grossly offensive.” CM submitted an epic evaluation as a result. See below.
Educrats are accustomed to checking off boxes, with scant justification, and being lauded for their efforts. For instance, a standard could be considered covered in the classroom by simply mentioning it, rather than in depth learning. Educrats need to stop treating the public like a bureaucratic check box, it make it seem like they are hiding something. After the gaslighting over masks being able to stop a virus, despite all evidence contrary, you would think educrats would be more circumspect.