Submitted by Pad Finnigan.
The Clover Park School Board concluded its two-evening 2021 board retreat Tuesday night after reviewing the results of five months of staff work. The work product is called the final draft of its Equity Policy. The policy draft is supposed to be voted on by the board on Sept. 13.
What’s an Equity Policy, you ask? Good question, and one few people understand. In street terms, it explains how they propose to teach to students of different races and needs in order to improve the academic results they achieve. It is six pages full of academic jargon, such as “…a path to eliminate racial disparities and disproportionality.”
The policy will divide children by race instead of unifying them as Americans.
But don’t confuse the word “equity” with “equality.” Equity is a word specially made up by academics who are hawking critical race theory nationally. In this draft Equity Policy it is defined as, “affirming diverse needs, removing barriers to access, and maintaining high standards and expectations.”
Diverse needs, not equal needs. Do different races have diverse educational needs? Does the color of your skin determine how and what you are taught or how you learn?
The policy says, “We acknowledge that people of historically marginalized identities have been underserved and harmed by internal and external systems.” Makes one wonder if the school district believes its system has harmed students. Labels like “marginalized” invite students to feel victimized and use that as an excuse for not learning.
A few things the district will do if this new policy is approved by the board are:
- Train staff and teachers in implicit bias, microaggressions, restorative practices, classroom circles, homophobia, and systemic racism.
- Eliminate discipline disparities of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability.
- Use curriculum reflecting culture, identity voice and heritage of district students.
- Hire teachers and staff that reflect students’ diversity.
- Counter, disrupt and dismantle harmful ideas of colonization of native Americans.
Can this race-based policy possibly solve the downward trajectory of so many of the district’s academic results? Or will it add a layer of social engineering to the district’s existing problems. Is race the answer, or is it racist by definition?
America is awash in these kinds of efforts to out-woke the other guy. Policies exist in the military, businesses, all levels of government and in universities under various names such as “social justice,” “equity, diversity and inclusion,” and “culturally responsive teaching.”
Critical Race Theory is a central unifying theory of whatever they call it. It is an academic discipline, formulated in the 1990s and built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism. Critical race theorists explicitly reject equality—the principle proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. To them, equality represents “mere nondiscrimination” and provides “camouflage” for white supremacy, patriarchy, and oppression.
The school district’s draft Equity Policy defines systemic racism as “…policies, practices, and programs that exclude or promote groups on the basis or race.” Based on their own definition then, the district’s proposed policy is itself systemically racist.
You would think that the existing school board members would have asked a wide range of students’ parents and families for input into this draft policy before finalizing it. Ask dozens, hundreds maybe. However, afraid of being rejected, they asked only 7 parents and families for their reactions. Parents have more invested in their students’ education than any other group in the whole city but were basically shut out of the stakeholder consultations.
A better and pretty obvious solution to fixing the problems of the district is to replace the people at the top. Get better leadership on the school board. Then focus on individual student’s needs.
Two incumbent school board members are running for re-election in the August 3 primary election. Remove them from office and change the direction of the school district and our children’s futures.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.