The University of California higher-education system is considering adding a new admission requirement that will force high school students in the state to learn a controversial and anti-Semitic ethnic-studies curriculum if they want to be admitted into the university.

Nearly 2,000 UC students, family members, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and California taxpayers signed a petition on Monday urging UC’s Academic Council to reject the “ill-conceived and dangerous” proposal.

They argued that it has no educational merit or justification and that it is “the direct result of a small group of activist-educators who are determined to circumvent state law and manipulate the UC governance process to push a widely rejected and anti-Semitic curriculum for their own political and financial gain.”

The proposal “will unleash hatred and bigotry, especially anti-Semitism, into California’s public, charter and private schools,” they said.

All 10 UC campuses currently require freshmen to have taken a certain number of high school courses in seven subjects, including history, English, mathematics and science. The new proposal would add an eighth subject to that list: ethnic studies.

In order to fulfill the requirement, students must take one semester of a high school ethnic-studies course, the content of which is determined by the six-member UC Faculty Ethnic Studies Working Group who are proponents of the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition (LESMC), explained the petitioners.

Leaders of LESMC drafted the initial ethnic-studies curriculum that was widely rejected by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the State Board of Education, Jewish organizations and California’s Jewish Legislative Caucus for its anti-Semitic rhetoric and promotion of the BDS movement.

An updated curriculum without the anti-Semitic content was drafted by the State Board of Education and signed into legislation by Newsom in late 2021, making ethnic studies a California high school graduation requirement. However, the law permits California school districts to adopt whichever version of the curriculum they prefer, including LESMC’s overtly anti-Semitic one.

The criteria for the new UC admissions requirement will force every high school in the state, including California private and religious schools, to choose LESMC’s anti-Semitic curriculum.

The proposed ethnic-studies course criteria promote anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist ideologies, such as portraying Jews as “white, privileged oppressors” and Zionism as a “racist, colonialist system of oppression.”

The petitioners wrote: “Please understand that if you approve this ethnic-studies admission requirement with its Liberated course criteria, and students at every public, charter and private high school in the state are forced to take a ‘critical’ ethnic-studies course, you will be responsible for unleashing enormous bigotry and enmity, especially anti-Semitism, into California classrooms, threatening the safety and well-being of many students. We strongly urge you to reject this politically motivated, academically vacuous, and extremely harmful proposal.”


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.