[Marxism] Racial stereotyping handbook recalled in California

lshan at bcn.net lshan at bcn.net
Wed Apr 14 16:07:28 MDT 2004

Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg was the first leader of the 1964 Berkeley Free
Speech Movement. Her replacement by him was not based on any political
difference, but on his greater ability at the time to dramatize the issues.
Despite her political affiliation, which I abhor, in my opinion, she is one
of those rare Democratic Party office holders who never back down on
questions of fairness and justice.

from Brian Shannon

Complaints of racial stereotyping and insensitivity are prompting the
replacement this month of instructional guides used by California school
districts to teach their youngest immigrant students.

The state Board of Education ordered the replacement to end a longtime
controversy sparked by critics who contend the material could taint
teachers' attitudes toward immigrants.

New copies of the "English-Language Development Guide," part of the Open
Court reading program, will be mailed to school districts within three
weeks, said April Hattori, spokeswoman for the McGraw-Hill publishing

The teachers' guide, not distributed to students, provides tips and
strategies for helping English-language learners succeed in Open Court, a
phonics-based reading program used by numerous California school districts,
including Sacramento City and Elk Grove Unified.

Controversy centered on the following statements in the guidebooks for
kindergarten through sixth grades:

* "The absence of certain things in students' original cultures can obstruct
their understanding of even common words like 'bowl.' Bowls are not often
used at the table in Latin American cultures."

* "What if English-language learners think and act in ways that make
teaching difficult? Some female students from Islamic or African cultures
might believe it unladylike to speak up in class. Some Asian students might
feel it is impolite to mention that they don't understand something."

* "Many immigrants go through a phase of active hostility toward the culture
that is making life so uncomfortable for them. In school, students might go
through a period of hostility toward both their teacher and other students."

Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, said such statements about
hostility and cultural dispositions can prompt teachers to unfairly expect
antisocial behavior or to refrain from calling upon immigrant girls in

"If you stop calling on (Islamic or African) girls very much because you're
trying to protect them from being embarrassed, then yes, it could be
harmful," Goldberg said.

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