Haverford School District Stonewalls Parents on Specifics of ‘Equity Team’

by Christopher Paslay

Some parents of Haverford School District students are not happy with the lack of transparency surrounding the school’s Equity Team, and would like more information on members, their specific plans and objectives. 

In July of 2020, after the death of George Floyd, the School District of Haverford Township adopted a resolution supporting the development of an anti-racist school climate by the board of directors.

The resolution stated in part, “we must recognize that racism and hate have no place in our schools and society. However, we must understand that racism is systemic, and it is unconsciously and consciously rooted into our institutions, policies, and practices. Consequently, we acknowledge that we must look at our own school policies and practices through an anti-racist and equity lens to address traces of racism and inequity that still exist within our own school community.”

The resolution went on to establish the development of district-wide equity leadership teams, which, according to the resolution, “will be responsible for developing ideas and strategies to submit to SDHT administration and Board of Directors around equity.” 

The establishment of diversity, equity, and inclusion teams in American schools has become the latest educational trend.  And while there’s nothing controversial about assembling such teams (in some cases these teams do objective and meaningful work), there have been cases where school districts have used so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” to forward a political agenda, and usher in radical, identity politics aimed at indoctrinating students rather than educating them.     

Such was the case last year in North Carolina.  The Wake County Public School System, which serves the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area, held an equity-themed teachers’ conference with sessions on “whiteness,” “microaggressions,” “racial mapping,” and “disrupting texts,” encouraging educators to form “equity teams” in schools and push the new party line: “antiracism.”

According to an article by Christopher Rufo, the first session of this equity-themed conference was called, “Whiteness in Ed Spaces,” where school administrators provided two handouts on the “norms of whiteness.” The article stated:

These documents claimed that “(white) cultural values” include “denial,” “fear,” “blame,” “control,” “punishment,” “scarcity,” and “one-dimensional thinking.” According to notes from the session, the teachers argued that “whiteness perpetuates the system” of injustice and that the district’s “whitewashed curriculum” was “doing real harm to our students and educators.” The group encouraged white teachers to “challenge the dominant ideology” of whiteness and “disrupt” white culture in the classroom through a series of “transformational interventions.”

Parents, according to the teachers, should be considered an impediment to social justice. When one teacher asked, “How do you deal with parent pushback?” the answer was clear: ignore parental concerns and push the ideology of antiracism directly to students. “You can’t let parents deter you from the work,” the teachers said. “White parents’ children are benefiting from the system” of whiteness and are “not learning at home about diversity (LGBTQ, race, etc.).” Therefore, teachers have an obligation to subvert parental wishes and beliefs. Any “pushback,” the teachers explained, is merely because white parents fear “that they are going to lose something” and find it “hard to let go of power [and] privilege.”

While the School District of Haverford Township has not embraced such radical and polarizing ideas, Haverford High School’s so-called “Student Equity Team” did recently send out an anonymous survey—not open to parents—asking students if they “have experienced implicit forms of discrimination like microaggressions,” and if students are confident that they know what a microaggression is.

Some parents of Haverford High School students have found this concerning, being that children in high school have no real understanding of microaggressions, and even if they did grasp the complexity of this, it wouldn’t matter; the concept has been thoroughly debunked by science. In 2017, Emory University psychology professor Scott O. Lilienfeld published a paper titled, “Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence,” which argued that the microaggression research program (MRP) “is far too underdeveloped on the conceptual and methodological fronts to warrant real-world application.”

The paper also recommended the abandonment of the term “microaggression,” and called for “a moratorium on microaggression training programs and publicly distributed microaggression lists pending research to address the MRP’s scientific limitations.”

Concerned parents did reach out to Haverford High School about the anonymous Student Equity Team survey, and were told by school officials that the Student Equity Team hoped to get more honest responses from students by keeping the survey anonymous. School officials did ultimately show the survey to concerned parents, and explained the survey results would go to Haverford High School administrators and the Teacher Equity Team to review; the purpose was to look for areas to improve at Haverford High School, and to bring in training to address such areas.

But not all parents are happy about the survey, and the Haverford School District Equity Team in general. The leader of a local parent group expressed frustration at the lack of transparency by the School District, especially involving the details of their so-called “Equity Team.”  The parent group leader stated that they still have no idea who is on this equity team, or what exactly they are working to implement in the school—even after the parent group made numerous requests and filed “right to know” documents. 

Is the School District of Haverford Township’s equity team approach the same as the Wake County Public School System? Will Haverford Township’s equity team strive to end the achievement gap by educating students with rigorous academic skills, or by indoctrinating them with identity politics?

This remains to be seen.  Perhaps if the School District of Haverford Township were more transparent with their Equity Team, and responded more appropriately to parent requests for information, none of this would be an issue. 

Grace Church School’s Newspeak Dictionary

Grace Church School, a New York City private academy that charges $57,000 a year, has published a guide sent to students and parents that encourages them to alter their speech to conform to gender neutral language, including pushing students to stop referring to their parents as “mom” and “dad.” The guide, titled “Grace Inclusive Language Guide,” actually excludes language in an effort to redefine terms according to progressive identity politics. Thanks for watching.

BLM Protesters Bully Young Cheerleaders

As cheerleaders headed into a competition Saturday at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville, protesters for racial justice harassed and bullied the young girls, shouting chants laced with profanities and accusing them of “white privilege.” Adult organizer Carmen M. Jones, when asked if she was out of line, doubled down on her racist and inappropriate behavior.

Exposing Corwin’s Socialist Math Textbook Series

by Christopher Paslay

Using math class to push a political agenda is flat out wrong, and Corwin’s book, High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, has no place in a high school math classroom.

Corwin Press, a professional development book publisher, is no longer interested in producing academic material designed to teach children how to think, rather, has set their sights on teaching students what to think. The company, which was established in 1990, has taken a hard left turn over the past five years, so much so that the publisher has abandoned any pretense of objectivity, and has openly embedded its political agenda into much of its material.

In January, they posted so-called “free resources to help educators process the Jan. 6th riot at the Capitol,” which provided links to agenda-driven activist groups like Black Lives Matter, whose aim was to indoctrinate school children in polarizing identity politics. 

Now Corwin is promoting a new series of math textbooks aimed at indoctrinating high school students in radical leftist politics, textbooks that replace objective, linear math with socialist propaganda. A book titled High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, is one such example.

The Introduction to the book, titled “Why is Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice Critical?”, states “Whether we talk about it or not, our students regularly experience the impacts of social privilege, power, and activism every day.” This introduction reveals the true motive of the book, which is first to indoctrinate teachers and students in progressive social justice activism, and to ingrain in them a willingness to accept socialism and the political agenda of the left. 

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, titled “Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice,” provides a foundation for using math to promote activism, which focusses on so-called “equitable mathematics,” and helps teachers design lessons that will allow students to broach controversial topics and have difficult conversations. These chapters also help educators create activities that encourage students to investigate, understand, and reflect on social questions to “empower themselves into action.” 

Part II, called “Social Justice Mathematics Lessons,” incorporates actual math into activities, but does so by structuring it around progressive causes and leftist political agenda. Chapter 6, for example, discusses border crossings, climate change, income inequality, and intersectionality and the wage gap, among other things. Chapter 7 delves into citizenship issues, policing and systemic racism, prison populations, and immigration. Chapter 8 touches on gerrymandering and food injustice. 

The third and final part of the book, titled “Next Steps,” helps teachers spread the social justice mathematics message by designing lessons in their own classrooms, and by encouraging them to get active. 

The book, which makes no bones about indoctrinating students in identity politics and a progressive socialist agenda, is completely inappropriate for a math classroom. Using it in a high school setting not only assumes parents are willing to exchange rigorous math for activism, but that these parents agree with the positions Corwin takes on the issues. 

What if parents, after thinking critically on such topics, believe America’s borders should be secure, and that illegal immigration should be discouraged? What if parents, after educating themselves on both sides of the argument, believe climate change is cyclical, and not the man-made catastrophe it’s being made out to be? What if they believe income inequality has more to do with choices, priorities and family structure, and less to do with so-called systemic racism? What if parents believe all immigrants should come through legal ports of entry, and follow a lawful path to citizenship? 

What if they support America’s police, and believe the idea of systemic racism by law enforcement is erroneous or overblown, and that prison populations are based on crime, and not implicit bias? What if parents, after critically analyzing all sides of the topic, felt these ways on the issues, and wanted to raise their children to think critically about such issues themselves? 

The tragedy, of course, is that these children won’t learn how to think critically about any of this—not if they are using material from Corwin Press. Why? Because Corwin is more interested in teaching children what to think, not how to think.  

Using math class to push a political agenda is flat out wrong, and Corwin’s book, High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, has no place in a high school math classroom. Period. 

The fact that Corwin is promoting such agenda-driven material, light on academic rigor and heavy on activism, should be concerning to all parents. The fact of the matter is, Corwin Press is no longer a publisher of objective, academic books. The company has gone full-blown woke, as is evidenced by their new “Deep Equity Consulting Service,” which preaches that the achievement gap, graduation rates, and disproportionate discipline outcomes are “symptomatic of institutional biases and norms that must be directly challenged through systemic, ongoing, and authentic work.”

By “authentic work” they mean indoctrinating students over educating them, and focusing on systems over people. In short, Corwin cares more about influencing politics than they do about actually teaching your kids academic skills, which should make every parent very concerned. 

The Tragic Cancelling of Dr. Seuss

Tragically, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has bowed to cancel culture by removing six of his books from publication, claiming that they contain racist and insensitive imagery that portrays “people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” This video takes a closer look at the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel, including “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” which is one of the six banned books. Thanks for watching.

‘Exploring White Fragility’ Audio Excerpt: Preface

Click on the video above to listen to the Preface to “Exploring White Fragility: Debating the Effects of Whiteness Studies on America’s Schools.” Purchase the book and arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to push back against identity politics in our schools.

Click here to purchase Chris’s new book from amazon. Click here to purchase directly from Rowman & Littlefield.

“Paslay’s thorough review of attitudes and actions associated with whiteness studies and racism give voice to all sides of diversity and pluralism so that we, as a nation, can continue the ongoing conversation about how to treat each other with the respect ALL humans deserve.” –Dr. Eugenia Krimmel, education professor and ESL/Bilingual education advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education

“This is a brave book. Paslay reveals and cuts through the endless layers of antiracist gospel which, in the name of enlightenment, leave one cohort of brown kids after another uneducated. Aspiring teachers seeking clear eyes and genuine progressivism should start by inhaling this book.” –John H. McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics and comparative literature at Columbia University

“This well-researched, well-argued, and thoughtful book provides a clear and comprehensive account of how the theory of white fragility is dividing rather than uniting American society and America’s classrooms. A must-read.” –Jonathan Church, author of Reinventing Racism: Why ‘White Fragility’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Racial Inequality

Paslay provides a thorough exposition and measured critique of the new ideology that has colonized the minds of America’s school administrators and threatens to wreak havoc on our students—especially students of color. It’s a must-read for any parent or teacher who is concerned about the soul of the next generation.” –Max Eden, education policy expert and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

Christopher Rufo Challenges New York Times to Critical Race Theory Debate

In a New York Times article headlined “The Campaign to Cancel Wokeness,” opinion writer Michelle Goldberg claimed Christopher Rufo wanted to cancel Critical Race Theory because he was afraid to debate its ideas. Rufo responded immediately on Twitter by challenging The Times — as well as any Critical Race Theorist — to a debate on the floor of the New York Times. If the NYT doesn’t answer his challenge within five calendar days, Rufo stated on Twitter, it will be clear that they are the ones afraid to debate, and who “shelter their ideas from the public.” If I were Rufo, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Thanks for watching!

Culturally Responsive Insanity in Illinois Schools

The Illinois State Board of Education just approved a resolution that will incorporate “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading” (CRTL) standards into Illinois K-12 schools. These standards are rooted in divisive, anti-American identity politics, which water down instructional rigor, support behavior standards based on race, push students into leftist activism, and undermine the concept of objective truth. Please click on the above picture to view the video. Thanks for watching!