The Anaheim Union High School District is contracting with Anaheim Elementary School District Trustee Jose Paolo Magcalas to train 50 AUSHD teachers in Ethnic Studies “pedagogy.” It was Magcalas who brought Ethnic Studies to the AUSHD in 2015 when he was a U.S. History teacher at Loara High School.
Magcalas and AUSHD’s progressive Superintendent Michael Matsuda are friends and political allies.
In May of 2021, the AUSHD Board of Education voted to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement. Several months later, Governor Newsom signed legislation to impose Ethnic Studies as a high school graduation requirement statewide. He had previously signed legislation mandating that all Cal State University students take Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement.
The AUSHD will pay Magcalas $4,000 to conduct three workshops on March 7, April 7 and April 28 for a total of 8 hours. During the workshops, Magcalas will give teachers an “overview of the district adopted course Ethnic Studies: Cultural Experiences in America” and “training on the adopted AUHSD Ethnic Studies Framework and other content, curriculum, and pedagogical practices used in various Ethnic Studies courses that have just been adopted in the AUHSD.”
Magcalas’ ideological approach to teaching and history as an educator who blends political activism into his classroom instruction suggests the sort of training he will be imparting to AUSHD teachers.
Magcalas is a fervent advocate of Ethnic Studies and its underlying ideology. As a member of the AESD Board of Education, he successfully pushed to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement for students in the K-6 district.
In an academic paper, Magcalas describes the Road-to-Damascus experience that converted him into a apostle of Ethnic Studies activism:
“After the event, I vowed to bring ethnic studies to my high school one day. I knew that this curriculum would benefit and empower the hundreds of oppressed students in my high school. But I was not ready. I had to unlearn the oppressive pedagogical methods that I had been trained to practice in my own classroom. I also needed to reclaim my own history and epistemology. I am sad to admit that I was the oppressed oppressor. For six years I taught a Eurocentric perspective of United States history to hundreds of students in my community.”
Magcalas is a acolyte of Critical Pedagogy, which holds that teaching and politics are inseparable and intertwined – and that teaching is an intrinsically political act whose goal is inculcating a “social justice” consciousness in students. It is the brainchild of Pablo Freire, the late Brazilian Marxist and author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed – one of the Bibles of identity politics activists like Magcalas.
The Ethnic Studies course that Magcalas developed for Loara High School in 2015 is, in essence, a course in training students to become social justice activists.
While teaching Ethnic Studies at Loara High School, Magcalas adorned his classroom with radical symbols such as a portraits of bloodthirsty Communist revolutionary Che Guevara and unrepentant Communist activist Angela Davis, condemned Thanksgiving as a racist holiday that must be “decolonized,” and supported defunding the police while criticizing school safety officers as part of the “school-to-prison” pipeline. In 2015, Magcalas had his students make protest placards supporting a specific Anaheim council district map and then led them to the Anaheim City Council meeting, where they participated in a union-led “direct action” that prevented the council from conducting business and forced it to adjourn.
As a graduate of Loara HS, class of 76, i am sickened by the teaching of Critical Race Theory at Loara. Make no mistake, this is a hate based curriculum and is intended to indoctrinate youth that the white race is the source of all woes in the US. I hope the 50 teachers who attend the in service have the guts to challenge Mr. Magcalas on his warped version of history….Example Che Guevara was a Communiost Revoluttionary who was a homophobe and a white supremcist who created a concentration camp in 1960 Cuba to make “men” through hard work of gays, black priests, Jehovah Witnesses, and other political deviants. Many were tortured, raped and killed. This is the example of greatness that Mr. Magcalas sets as an example of greatness in his Ethnic Studies classroom. This uninformed teacher attended a workshop and left it brainwashed. He is further brainwashing students of AUHSD. Terrible.
Only replying to article. I think it’s great. The district has done its due diligence to be able to do this. You have to be compliant with the counties regulations to be able to provide the workshop. I hope all OC does this. I know our kids aren’t taught real history. I wasn’t. As a parent of biracial kids it’s important to teach them all history not just one side.
How are kids not taught “real history”? What is fake or untrue or unreal in what they are taught in U.S. History? What do you consider to be “real history”?
Thank you Matthew Cunningham for asking these questions. I would love to hear the answers “just a mom” provides. Typical of a Magcalas follower. Sad.
Crazy! We have trusted our public schools to educate children and not to indoctrinate. Glad there is options as public charter schools. Families are transferring out of these districts because of nonsense like this.