The woke-o-meter in public schools is about to ramp up. Parents who think they don’t have time to homeschool may soon realize that, compared to the effort involved in monitoring and countering the nonsense from leftist classrooms, homeschooling is the relaxing alternative.
Not all teachers buy into the leftist narrative of race-obsessed anti-Americanism. But leftist K-12 administrators want to ensure that, eventually, all teachers will present only approved ideas and counter any wrongthink children are taught at home. Many of these educrats are now embracing a technological fix.
Trade publication Education Week recently reported that about 500 school districts around the country are rating teacher applicants according to their “cultural competency,” another code for “wokeness.” Many of these districts are contracting with a teacher-hiring company called Nimble, which uses artificial intelligence to examine applications and interview answers to determine which candidates harbor the correct political and cultural attitudes.
A central concern of Nimble and its leftist clients is mindsets about race. The goal is to hire only teachers who are “anti-racist” activists, who will reject equal treatment of all students in favor of discrimination against some (whites) for the supposed benefit of others (racial minorities). Note that under this rubric, Asian students, who as a group work hard and consequently excel, don’t qualify as an oppressed racial minority.
“Now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a culture, I do think that districts have started to emphasize these questions a little bit more,” Nimble CEO Lauren Dachille told EdWeek. “They might be more common, they might be more explicit.”
Anti-racism as a motivating societal force was popularized by Ibram X. Kendi, who along with other savvy race grifters is profiting handsomely from the concept. Getting points for honesty if not integrity, Kendi teaches that discrimination against white people is a positive good, and indeed necessary to establish the “equity” of equal outcomes for all regardless of intelligence or effort. This is what is meant by anti-racism: “If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist.”
What types of discrimination do Kendi and his disciples approve? Examples abound. White students may be shamed in classroom “privilege walks” or “privilege deconstruction” sessions. Black or Hispanic students may be held to lower standards of behavior. Programs for gifted students may be abolished.
Note the racism inherent in anti-racism. “Anti-racists” assume that black and brown children are “less than” white or Asian kids—they can’t excel in academics, they can’t follow basic rules of personal conduct. It’s necessary to change all standards to accommodate these presumed “inferior” beings. Such a theory ensures minority kids will never overcome personal obstacles because they’re told they don’t have to.
This is the system that, with Nimble’s help, many schools are trying to establish and perpetuate.
EdWeek identified a Boston elementary school principal who “will tell candidates the school’s priorities around anti-racism and ask them to respond.” To make crystal clear the political attitudes expected from successful candidates, “she will ask them what they’ve done personally or professionally to be more anti-racist.” Presumably, getting arrested at a Black Lives Matter riot would be, as Rush Limbaugh used to say, a resume enhancement.
Applicants in Indianapolis may be asked “how [they would] ensure that student outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.” Of course, there’s only one way to ensure such an outcome: manipulate it to guarantee that all students end up at the same low level. Any students who threaten the leveling by working too hard or achieving too much will have to be brought to heel—at least, if they’re the “wrong” race.
Indianapolis teaching applicants may also be asked, “Why do you think that low-income students predictably perform lower on standardized tests than their more-affluent peers?” One would be pretty safe to assume a preferred answer would be “because of systemic racism,” not “because those students, largely due to decades of misguided government policies, are more likely to come from fatherless families and grow up in a dysfunctional environment.”
Throughout the article, district officials emphasize the importance of hiring teachers who are amenable to the schools’ “priorities” and “values.” But how is it appropriate for a public institution, funded by taxpayers who hold a wide range of political opinions, to institutionalize one set of those opinions? Even worse, how is it appropriate for the institution to guarantee the propagation of those opinions by limiting hires to candidates who agree with them?
These questions illustrate the bubble mentality of the left. Leftists are so certain of the objective correctness of all their views that they cannot conceive of any person of goodwill taking a different position. In the leftist mind, anyone not willing to engage in discrimination against whites or Asians in the name of “equity” is the moral equivalent of a Klansman. And who would object to screening out Klansmen from the teacher corps?
Parents who hope the public schools are still salvageable might want to reconsider. The skyrocketing wokeness of administrators who control teacher hiring will ensure that all classrooms are increasingly devoted to indoctrination rather than education.
How exhausting it is for parents to constantly monitor what their children are being fed in every class and then try to repair the intellectual and moral damage at home. Viewed in this light, does choosing another schooling arrangement really seem so hard?