St. Paul school district plans to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement

St. Paul Public Schools is planning on making ethnic studies a graduation requirement starting with the class of 2025, reports the Star Tribune.

The school board still has to “sign off on the ‘Critical Ethnic Studies’ requirement,” continues the Strib, but teachers have been selected and curriculum and lesson plans are set to be written this summer, with a pilot course expected at three high schools this fall. The remaining high schools would implement the course in 2022.

The district currently offers ethnic studies electives, but Critical Ethnic Studies “is expected to be more conceptual in nature,” according to the Strib. And a required course to receive a diploma.

A template provided to the board Tuesday provided an example of how the course could be structured. It listed seven principles of ethnic studies: love and respect, reflection, critical consciousness, hope, solidarity, community and transformation. A unit of study outlined in the example included a four-week examination of immigration and migration.

While what exactly will be taught in the district’s Critical Ethnic Studies course is still to be determined, we just have to look at California’s ethnic studies initiative to see what’s possibly coming down the pike: a curriculum that promotes a narrow political ideology, encourages victimization and foments division.

In a district where 53 percent of 10th grade students can’t read at grade level and nearly 73 percent of 11th graders aren’t proficient in math, why aren’t graduation requirements focusing on ensuring students have these crucial skills mastered?