Why Most California Kids Can’t Read: Frank Xu

Frank Xu, who lost his campaign for a Palomar Community College Board seat in the Nov. 8 election, said the state’s failing school systems will lead to the inability of California’s next generation to write, read, and understand mathematics, which will create a decline in overall proficiency. , which he said would be a “disaster” for the whole of society.

Xu, 44, president of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, a nonprofit organization fighting legislative attempts to reinstate racial and gender preferences in government programs, made the comments on a recent California Insider episode of EpochTV.

He blamed what he calls a decline in California public schools on the state’s inability to hire qualified teachers, the recent push by educators and today’s mainstream media regarding diversity, inclusion and equity, the crackdown on those who question those concepts, and what is known as “grade inflation,” where students receive higher grades than they deserve.

Xu, who moved to the United States from China in the mid-2000s and finally landed in San Diego in 2009, said she first became concerned about the state’s public schools when her daughter’s third-grade teacher couldn’t solve a simple math problem during a parent-teacher conference.

“My wife and I were shocked, because it was an easy problem,” he said.

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Frank Xu, president of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation. (Courtesy of Frank Xu)

She later said her eighth grade son and his friends used to ask their math and physics teachers questions, believing they couldn’t answer them.

While she said she discouraged her son from playing such pranks on his teachers, she realized that the public school was failing her son.

She also said that early in the pandemic, she noticed that her daughter, who was in sixth grade at the time, was having difficulty calculating simple math problems like adding and subtracting fractions.

“Something’s not right,” he said. “For me, this was like third or fourth grade stuff.”

Consequently, he said he worked with her during the summer of 2020 using a different curriculum than her public school and “immediately saw her improve.”

Ultimately, Xu said she transferred her two children to private schools.

“I gradually learned that the curriculum in public schools is quite different from that in private schools,” he said.

During the 30-minute interview, Xu pointed to recently released standardized test scores for California students, which indicated that two out of three were not meeting standards in math and more than half were not meeting standards in English. . The results were from tests conducted in the spring of 2022.

According to Xu, he believes the low scores are due, in part, to the state’s inability to hire talented teachers, especially in STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.

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Students and parents arrive masked for the first day of the school year at Grant Elementary School in Los Angeles on Aug. 16, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

If this continues, he said, it will be “disastrous.” [for] our next generation and it will be a disaster [for the] competence of our country”.

He said that during his now-failed election campaign, a San Diego-area high school student approached him and told him that his Advanced Placement Biology teacher didn’t actually teach, but only showed videos during class.

As a consequence, the student said that he, like all students in the class, had to rely on outside tutoring in an effort to pass his AP exam.

Xu said the student’s story made him realize that those with fewer resources, such as being unable to hire tutors, suffer the most. Poor teachers, he said, “actually create more disparity… rather than reduce disparity.”

According to Xu, teachers are more concerned with lowering the standards for everyone in the name of equity and inclusion. This is causing what is known as “grade inflation,” where all students receive high grades.

He said that today’s schools are “advocating for equity… because they can’t provide a quality education. … The only solution for them,” she said, “is to lower the standard for everyone so that everyone can pass. Everyone can get an A.”

He said that today’s teachers are therefore not preparing students for society and for the workforce.

“And that’s scary,” he said.

He said that the current momentum of transgenderism, LGBT issues and what is known as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in California public schools does not allow some to speak out against such an ideology.

He cited an example in the Poway Unified School District, when two parents objected to a book within the school system that they said contained pornography.

He said the Poway school board recognized the parents’ concerns, but the media, when reporting on the issue, said the parents were anti-LGBT.

“The mainstream media criticized those two brave parents,” calling them homophobic, he said.

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Elementary students work on their math homework in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 12, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Xu also questioned educators’ belief that teaching ethnic studies in today’s classrooms will help students both academically and mentally.

“Scores [have] He already told us otherwise,” he said. “The more they push diversity and inclusion, the wider the racial gaps in student achievement.”

He said recent student achievement test results show the widening gap.

“It’s so obvious,” he said, “it’s a failed policy.”

He also said those who blame that ideology for declining scores are labeled fanatics, making him feel like he lives under the Chinese Communist Party, China’s ruling party known for its authoritarianism and censorship.

A loss of educational excellence, he said, is a slippery slope.

“If our next generation loses the ability to read and write for itself, it will lose the ability to think for itself. That’s what’s critical. And then they are easier to manipulate and that will make our democracy, the future of our democracy, miserable,” he said.

Xu lost to San Diego Miramar College professor and counselor Judy Patacsil, 62, in the race for Palomar Community College District Governing Board Trustee for Area 1, who received 53.7 percent. of the votes on November 8, compared to his 46.3 percent.

He was also campaign finance chair for No on Proposition 16 in 2020, which, if passed, would have allowed state and local governments to use race and gender as factors in determining college admissions, government jobs, and local hiring. . The measure failed with 57 percent of the votes of Californians.

Siyamak Jorrami

Epoch Times Staff