VOTE: NO – Passed Committee
Status (overview) of bill: https://oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/HB2845
This bill introduces still another state agency to impose standards on K-12 with respect to teaching ethnic and social minority history. Thus reducing still further the class time schools can devote to the basics and further balkanizing the population of Oregon. Even now we have a curriculum a mile wide and an inch deep. This would make it even shallower.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
This reduces personal choice. Ethnic minorities and social minorities have for generation led the battle for educating the general public. They and the general public exercised personal choice and responsibility. This whole mandated superstructure will reduce that choice and responsibility
Still more funds removed from the education budget to create another administrative bureaucracy at the expense of classroom time and classroom costs. Amendment B adds $43,149 for the biennium beginning July 1, 2017, for the purpose of coordinate the work of the advisory group.
Now a great deal of ethnic and social minority issues are being taught in our schools. Much of that teaching is ideologically laden. This is a state government initiative to micromanage that teaching and therefore impose whatever ideology the state administrators are selling.
Local control is limited. That is particularly important because ethnic minorities often leave in relatively isolated communities and towns. Ethnic studies in these areas should focus on the ethnicity of the school population if it is meant to inform and enhance young people. The ethnic studies programs in the Jefferson district should be different from ethnic studies programs in Woodburn Russian Christian communities. Ethic studies are not best selected from a smorgasbord menu. This needs local control.
Ethnic studies, African American and Native American, have been thriving recently in ways not tied to K-12 school districts. While these may be publicly funded programs they will compete in a quasi free market for the students’ interest and time.