SAN FRANCISCO — The first-year American education curriculum in grades 3 to 8 was criticized for promoting “discipline” and a “culture of fear” in a recent report.
The first-grade curriculum of American history was put on hold for six years after a teacher complained about its tone and curriculum, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The teacher, who requested anonymity because she had not yet spoken publicly about the incident, said the curriculum was so “disciplining” that students were not learning to think critically.
The teacher also said it was hard for teachers to relate to students who did not speak English, and it was too much emphasis on reading and writing instead of learning how to read and write.
The AP identified the teacher as Carmen O’Connell, who teaches in the California high school district of Santa Barbara.
Her school’s curriculum is based on the textbook that began the American Civil War.
The school board of Santa Maria Unified School District, which includes Santa Barbara, received the report after the teacher reported the issue to its principal.
Board member Lisa Hargreaves said she was “deeply disturbed” by the findings and that she was working with the district’s superintendent and school principal to address the issue.
The board will hold a special meeting next week to address issues that are related to the report, she said.
The report by a teacher, a California-based education researcher, said that the curriculum’s tone and content made it hard for students to develop an informed and critical response to its content, as well as for teachers and administrators to connect with students.
The report also said the content and tone of the curriculum promoted a “cult of fear and an atmosphere of intimidation and mistrust” in schools.
“The school district will work closely with parents, students, educators and staff to address these findings and to determine how we can best ensure students are educated on issues of racism and the history of slavery, the report said.
Santa Maria Unified Superintendent Robert McRae said the district was “very concerned” by a series of news stories that focused on the school’s history of racism, but that he did not think that the content of the materials made it a racist or hostile environment.”
McRae added that while he did believe that the American education system is “the best in the world,” it is “important for us to keep it that way.”””
And that’s the kind of thing that we’ve seen in the past with other communities in our communities.”
McRae added that while he did believe that the American education system is “the best in the world,” it is “important for us to keep it that way.”
“When we make a mistake in education, it’s important to have a dialogue with ourselves, our kids, our staff, our parents, our community and the community around us,” McReae said.
“So I think the way we are going about it is, we need to have some accountability and accountability is really important in this country.”
McConnell, a former school board member, was hired by the district in 2013 to teach English and Spanish, among other subjects, to eighth-graders.
The Associated Press obtained the report under the state Freedom of Information Act.
It was not immediately available for comment.
The U.S. Department of Education issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the report and warning parents and educators to review the content in order to make sure that it doesn’t promote racism or bigotry.
The department said that while the report did not show an overt or intentional violation of the law, it did suggest that the district had taken steps to address racism and bullying.
The statement said that schools have an obligation to be places where students can learn and learn well, and that the department is working to address that issue.
The Education Department said that since its establishment in 2015, the department has worked to improve the school climate and the culture of learning in the United, as outlined in the school district’s 2018 annual report.