California has adopted many aspects of CRT at all levels of education. In March, the state Board of Education passed an ethnic studies curriculum based in large part on CRT that applies to all public schools. It also mandates anti-Zionism, which many critics cite as explicitly anti-Semitic.Meanwhile, many public and private institutes of higher learning in California could properly be categorized as testing grounds for Critical Race Theory and pushing it further into the mainstream. USC has a social justice network and model strategic plan for colleges and universities around the country; Stanford is a bastion from which all aspects of Critical Theory emanate as well as Cal Berkely. 

Higher Education

The examples are too numerous to count. Check out for school-by-school examples. Governor Gavin Newsom has directed the Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education to “recover [from the pandemic] with equity,” using reopening after COVID-19 lockdowns as opportunities to implement even more radical equity policies on college campuses throughout the state. 

Primary Education

In March, the California Board of Education adopted the long-anticipated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC):

As Tammi Benjamin of the California-based non-profit AMCHA Initiative has argued, the curriculum’s entire agenda—rooted in the neo-Marxist framework known as Critical Theory—is less about fostering children’s critical thinking skills and more about pushing children to become social justice activists.

In a recent article, journalist Christopher Rufo noted of even the most recent ESMC version:

In theoretical terms, the new ethnic studies curriculum is based on the “pedagogy of the oppressed,” developed by Marxist theoretician Paolo Freire, who argued that students must be educated about their oppression in order to attain “critical consciousness” and, consequently, develop the capacity to overthrow their oppressors. Following this dialectic, the model curriculum instructs teachers to help students “challenge racist, bigoted, discriminatory, imperialist/colonial beliefs” and critique “white supremacy, racism and other forms of power and oppression.” This approach, in turn, enables teachers to inspire their pupils to participate in “social movements that struggle for social justice” and “build new possibilities for a post-racist, post-systemic racism society.”