Victims Of Communism Memorial Foundation Statement On California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

WASHINGTON, D.C. — California’s bill AB-2016, mandating the development of an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), is currently being developed by school administrators across the state of California. The ESMC will likely be implemented throughout the K-12 public education system across the country.

In a parallel development, California bill AB-101, which would mandate ESMC as a high school graduation requirement in California, was introduced on December 11 and will be up for a vote in the California state legislature in 2021. Marion Smith, President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), has issued the following statement in response to the proposed curriculum’s guiding principles:

“The ESMC in its current form imposes a narrow political ideology that glorifies militants; romanticizes Maoist, Marxist, and Communist governments; and disregards why millions of victims of communism fled communist oppression and sought freedom in the United States. This has the great potential to reward doctrine regurgitation and polarize students into victims and oppressors. Because its guiding principles are fundamentally unstable, this ESMC should not be adopted as-is.”

Today, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation along with 11 partners issued a statement to the California Department of Education (CDE) expressing concern about the ESMC and urging the CDE to make significant revisions to the ESMC to build bridges of intergroup understanding and to ensure critical thinking.

The full length letter is available here. 

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is an educational, research, and human rights bipartisan nonprofit devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.

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