St. Paul Public Schools to add ‘Critical Ethnic Studies’ program, seeks curriculum suggestions related to ‘white supremacy’ and ‘oppression’


St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota is seeking community feedback for the newest graduation requirement, “Critical Ethnic Studies.” The flyer seeks “submissions” for the course related to the concepts such as “identity/intersectionality,” “Race/racism,” “White Supremacy” and “Oppression, systemic oppression.”

The May 4, 2021, “Committee of the Board Meeting of the Board of Education” featured a presentation updating the Board on the development of the Critical Ethnic Studies program. The “Course Development Cohort Timeline” shows that the cohort was to have completed a scope and sequence with alignment of standards, in May/June the cohort would compile resources, in July the members would write curriculum and lesson plan, then the course would launch “at participating high schools.”

The presentation included an “Example” scope and sequence slide that identified five units, the themes and key concepts. The unit theme “Identity & Narrative” contains key concepts such as “Dominant” and “Counter” narrative, as well as intersectionality. “Immigration & Migration” features concepts such as “Colonialization” and “Imperialism.” The “Systems of Power” unit will focus on “Power/Privilege,” “4 I’s of Oppression,” “Hegemony/Counter Hegemony” and “Resistance & Resilience.” The culminating unit titled “Transformation & Change” includes “Civic Engagement,” “Youth Participatory Action Research” and “Trauma & Healing.”

The sample scope and sequence is from the Stockton Unified School District (CA) Ethnic Studies Program.