The Weekly Standard has published an alarming report on the failures of one Minnesota town’s public schools after it launched an initiative that put equality of students above education. Now, a district known for high quality schools has turned into a “social justice factory” that is churning out uneducated SJWs.
As Katherine Kersten writes in her article, Edina public schools shifted its curriculum in 2013 and began teaching from the “All for All” plan. Though it was sold as promoting racial harmony within the student body, it was really a plan to show that institutional biases are keeping minority students at the bottom of the class while white students excelled.
But a few short years later, Edina schools went from being the “gold standard” to nearly no standards at all.
“Academic rigor is unraveling, high school reading and math test scores are sliding, and students increasingly fear bullying and persecution,” writes Kersten.
That’s because all subjects are taught through the lens of identity politics with heavy emphasis on the dangers of “white privilege” and it starts as early as kindergarten. Teachers, who are hired only if they are “racially conscious,” hand out assignments centered on racism, LGBT issues, feminism, Marxism, immigration, Black Lives Matter, and dismantling social constructs.
But not all students are on board with the school’s “equality crusade,” as Kersten describes. One student rated one of the classes online and said it “should be renamed… ‘Why white males are bad, and how oppressive they are.’” That bad rating has been deleted from Edina’s “Rate My Teachers” site. Conservative students have also launched a lawsuit against one high school, citing free speech restrictions by faculty.
Kersten reports that some children have been pulled out of the schools over the politically-charged curriculum:
For example, Orlando Flores and his wife pulled their son—an academic superstar—out of Edina High School in his senior year to escape its hyper-political environment.
Flores, who fled a Marxist regime in Nicaragua as a child, had this to say: “Years ago, we fled Communism to escape indoctrination, absolutist thinking and restrictions on our freedom of speech. If we see these traits in our schools in America, we must speak out and oppose it.”
Flores says that when his son was at Edina High, teachers routinely pushed politicians and political positions they favored, shamed and browbeat students with dissenting views, and forced them to defend themselves against baseless allegations of racism. According to his son, he says, classroom discussions were often “one-sided indoctrination sessions,” and students feared their grades would be penalized if they spoke out.
“All in All” has been nothing short of disastrous for Edina public schools. Black students — the very demographic the plan was supposed to raise up — are doing worse. Overall, black student proficiency is down in reading and math, especially in high school grades:
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.
“There’s been a single positive point of data,” Kersten adds. “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.”
So, in three years it increased less than one percent. Congrats, guys!
Progressive politics/education is anything but progressive.