It’s bad enough that America’s colleges are jam-packed with leftist indoctrination of young people who, while technically adults, have generally yet to really experience the full responsibilities of the real world. It’s even worse when high schools indoctrinate even more impressionable teenagers.
But the greatest outrage of all is how the Left has no qualms about poisoning the minds of America’s smallest children at the earliest stages of public education.
In the Weekly Standard, Katherine Kersten tells the shocking story of public schools in Edina, Minnesota, where a district that once had impeccable educational credentials is finding its reputation in freefall — and it all started when they decided to make the three R’s of reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic take a backseat to identity politics:
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The shift began in 2013, when Edina school leaders adopted the “All for All” strategic plan—a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to “racial equity.”
“Equity” in this context does not mean “equality” or “fairness.” It means racial identity politics—an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting “white privilege.”
The Edina school district’s All for All plan mandated that henceforth “all teaching and learning experiences” would be viewed through the “lens of racial equity,” and that only “racially conscious” teachers and administrators should be hired. District leaders assured parents this would reduce Edina’s racial achievement gap, which they attributed to “barriers rooted in racial constructs and cultural misunderstandings.”
As a result, the school system’s obsession with “white privilege” now begins in kindergarten. At Edina’s Highlands Elementary School, for example, K-2 students participate in the Melanin Project. The children trace their hands, color them to reflect their skin tone, and place the cut-outs on a poster reading, “Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone elses!-[sic] Everyone is special!”
That’s not all. The principal of Highlands Elementary School, for instance, maintains a “school community blog” that posts material without even the slightest connection to elementary school subjects, such as Black Lives Matter images, “Gay Marriage Is Our Right” banners, and a “children’s” book called A Is for Activist (whose pages contain such gems as “F is for Feminist” and “T is for Trans”).
The older kids get, the more overt the propaganda. One 10th-grade English course is more interested in “Colonization,” “Immigration,” and “Social Constructions of Race, Class and Gender” than it is helping kids understand and appreciate literature or learn how to write. An 11th-grade literature course has as its stated mission training teens “how to apply marxist [sic], feminist, post-colonial [and] psychoanalytical . . .lenses to literature.”
It gets worse. Parents report horror stories of political lectures in the classroom, teachers berating students for non-leftist views, and even a straight-up admission that since “dead white men are boring,” students can forget about reading the classics. Teachers and school staff have also been forced to endure “Racial Justice” training — even bus drivers.
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The fallout? Well, you can imagine:
Four years into the Edina schools’ equity crusade, black students’ test scores continue to disappoint. There’s been a single positive point of data: Black students’ reading scores—all ages, all grades—have slightly increased, from 45.5 percent proficiency in 2014 to 46.4 percent proficiency in 2017.
But other than that, the news is all bad. Black students “on track for success” in reading decreased from 48.1 percent in 2014 to 44.9 percent in 2017. Math scores decreased from 49.6 percent proficiency in 2014 to 47.4 percent in 2017. Black students “on track for success” in math decreased from 51.4 percent in 2014 to 44.7 percent in 2017.
The drop was most notable at the high school level. Math scores for black students in 11th grade at Edina Senior High dropped from 31 percent proficiency in 2014 to 14.6 percent in 2017. In reading, scores for black students in 10th grade at Edina Senior High dropped from 51.7 percent proficiency in 2014 to 40 percent in 2017.
This is exactly why education is more important to America’s future than almost any other issue. Unless we figure out a way to break the Left’s monopoly on public schools, entire generations will grow up to know absolutely nothing other than how to be wards of the state and loyal Democrat voters.
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