Education Consultancy, Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Students, Promotes Calls for Israel's Eradication

Ethnic studies consultancy contributes to course curriculums for public schools. It's blaming Israel for the Hamas terror attacks

Pro-Hamas protesters in Istanbul (Burak Kara/Getty Images)
October 11, 2023

A group of K-12 ethnic studies consultancies is supporting calls for Israel’s eradication and promoting anti-Israel rallies in the wake of Hamas’s terror attack that slaughtered civilians, including women and babies.

The Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies, an assemblage of groups that write taxpayer-funded course materials and run teacher trainings and workshops for K-12 schools and educators across the country, has urged its Instagram and Twitter followers to attend anti-Israel protests and shared posts blaming Israel for last weekend’s killings. It has also promoted calls for the destruction of Israel, including an image of a map of Israel labeled with "Long Live the Palestinian Resistance."

Members of the coalition include a California group that has curriculum contracts with several large districts; the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition, which secured a state mandate to embed ethnic studies principles in all of the state’s public school coursework; and National Black Lives Matter at School, which has teamed up with the National Education Association to promote activism at K-12 schools.

The posts highlight the anti-Jewish underpinnings of far-left education activists who are dedicated to infusing ideas of "anti-racism" and social justice into mainstream curricula nationwide. The coalition’s principles include teaching children about the evils of capitalism and white-supremacy. It also touts a special focus on Palestinian studies and support for teachers and schools to "withstand attacks from Zionist and other right-wing forces and liberalism."

Yet even educational experts familiar with the group’s tenets say its apparent embrace of Hamas’s terrorist killings is jarring.

"What’s disconcerting is they’re ignoring the violence that is befalling Jews in Israel right now, and excusing it and blaming it on the ideology they’re trying to teach in schools—using ‘settler-colonialism’ as an excuse for the absolute massacre of everyone from infants to the elderly," said Brandy Shufutinsky, director of education and community engagement for the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values.

The Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies did not respond to a request for comment. According to its website, its mission is to support a "unified message related to Ethnic Studies," that includes "rapid response to dehumanizing actions and pushback from zionism and right-wing zealots."

The coalition works on ethnic studies instruction materials for kids starting in pre-kindergarten and supports the teaching of critical race theory. One of its "points of unity" is rejection of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which includes designating Israel as racist and comparing Israeli policies to the Nazis. Its values include an emphasis on "pre-colonial, ancestral, indigenous, diasporic, familial, and marginalized knowledge."

One of the 32 groups under its umbrella is the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium, which formed in California after the state rejected its leaders’ preferred drafts for a statewide ethnic studies course framework for its bias and anti-Semitism—including references to Jews as "privileged."

Populous California school districts are paying the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium to write their ethnic studies course, such as the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Hayward Unified School District, and Salinas Union High School District.

Another affiliated group is ÉXITO at U.C. Santa Barbara, an "inclusion" teacher training program co-produced by the departments of Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Chicano(a) Studies, Feminist Studies and the school of education. The program is federally funded, receiving $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education.

Other groups include XITO, a "decolonizing" focused group that develops curriculum and, last year, ran a workshop for teaching about "Palestine" as an example of "settler colonialism"; National Black Lives Matter at School, which strives to make classrooms "incubators for inclusivity, equity and justice"; El Griot & Areito Project, a "Black and Indigenous" education group focused on native Puerto Rican studies; Jewish Voice for Peace, a fringe progressive group advocating against U.S. support of Israel whose statements blaming Israel for the Hamas attack were shared by the coalition; Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, which urges LGBT people to challenge Israel; and the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance Teach Palestine Project, which writes anti-Israel model curriculum.