Taking a page from the Biden Administration’s Executive Order 13985 — which gives government grants to schools based on their “equity” plans — the state of New Mexico has new education standards that teach identity politics across numerous ages and stages. The new Social Studies plan was finalized back in February and set to go into effect in the fall of 2023. Based on the numerous intentions to institutionalize lessons that focus on forcing students to single themselves out by race and gender, some are concerned that this will cause further divides instead of bridging them.
Within the upcoming New Mexico education standards, students at every level are expected to explore their identity. This begins in Kindergarten and goes throughout high school. At the grade school levels, there is significant focus placed on comparing and contrasting different students within the classroom and their varying backgrounds. This purposefully divides students up. Whether it is well-intentioned or not, by the third grade a large section of teaching is dedicated to immigration and furthering globalism and “global diversity.”
Globalist teachings leave behind local cultures and small, more self-reliant governing bodies for large corporatized endeavors that do not cater to individual rights. Public schools have been pandering in favor of this for years, but now these New Mexico education standards go even further. By 4th grade, students will be taught to scrutinize how “different groups” of people have held influence over state issues, teaching children to base their opinion of these groups on the interpretation that teachers deem best. This is expanded on in 5th grade and is an ongoing theme. In addition, 5th graders will also be required to explain how the treatment of different groups of people impacts who they are. Again, students are being taught to divide everyone up and “empathize” with them solely based on their identity, instead of who they are as individuals.
Once students reach middle school age they will be highly trained in “stereotypes, bias, and group identity.” In addition, they are to learn how cultures cling to their symbols and traditions, that certain “social identities,” create barriers across numerous areas of interest, and how diversity isn’t just about having different people come together, but also about the inequalities that must be addressed systematically, and “how social policies and economic forces offer privilege or systemic inequity.” These New Mexico education standards assume that identity is more important than sharing a national American culture for everyone regardless of where they come from or what they look like.
What’s more, the questionable content within these updated New Mexico education standards not only continues to use identity as a means of demeaning some groups of people over others, based on the concept of “privilege” and so on, through high school, but it also forces students to study the LGBTQIA+ community and its history as if it were a country with its own government, examine the negative effects of Imperialism, how it harms diverse groups, and how art, literature, and journalism works to fight against Imperialists. Students are fed a globalist view of history and society without instilling any sense of unifying characteristics and then are directed to take action within their community outside of the classroom. There are so many questionable talking points within this plan that opponents are decrying it for its divisive nature.
As the Biden Administration pushes their political agenda centering on identity politics in specific, whether the New Mexico education standards are being rolled out to retain funding under Executive Order 13985, or there is another motive behind these teachings is unknown. What is true, is that teaching systematic racism to combat “systemic racism” is a tactic many parents oppose. The public education system is seeing record enrollment drops, facing endless staffing shortages, and so much push-back from parents that many wonder how much longer it can even survive as it is. Once these new changes are put in place, how the community reacts will determine its fate.