Over the last year, the presence of left-wing doctrines of critical race theory and gender theory in America’s public and private schools has become unmistakable. The unrelenting push for leftism in America’s schools has not been organic, but ushered in by influential organizations.
The Progressive Education Network, which advocates for an openly leftwing approach to education in both government and private schools, is one such organization. PEN’s mission is to harness “the dynamic power of progressive practice for the next generation of students, schools, and democracy.” To this end, they aim to “nurture citizens in an increasingly diverse democracy.” The organization also expresses a “commitment to diversity, equity, and justice.”
PEN also obviously intends to exert its ideological will on the American social and political landscape. Its website notes that the organization “responds to contemporary issues from a progressive educational perspective” and “encourages progressive educators to play an active role in guiding the educational vision of our society.”
PEN’s Partner Schools Push Leftwing Extremism Across The Country
PEN is partnered with at least 114 different schools whose missions and pedagogies are “guided specifically by progressive principles and practices.” Some of the schools’ websites openly note their status as a “progressive school,” while others make no explicit mention of their partnership with the Progressive Education Network.
Many of the schools do, however, boast of their adherence to leftwing dogmas such as critical race and gender theory. The Galloway School, for example, publicizes its left-wing approach to education on their website. The Atlanta-based K-12 school is affiliated with the left-wing National Association of Independent Schools and hosts an Intersectional Feminist Book Club, a Minority Empowerment Forum, and a club called Spectrum, which discusses “issues of gender and sexuality.”
Galloway also hosts racially segregated events for parents. One of these groups, called “Aspiring Antiracists,” is for white parents who want to “confront anti-Black racism and unconscious bias” that the school says is “within us as individuals and within the systems we inhabit.”
The website notes that Aspiring Antiracists works with both the school’s office of diversity, equity, and inclusion and Families of Color United for Success, which is intended for “families or students at The Galloway School who identify themselves as people of color.” The school even partners with an organization called New American Pathways to aid in refugee resettlement in Atlanta.
The Galloway School is just one of the more than 100 schools that partners with PEN. The Miquon School, also affiliated with the NAIS, is located in Pennsylvania. It also partners with the PEN and pushes a similar agenda. Staff at Miquon read the book “I Am Jazz,” the story of a transgender child, to kindergarten students.
Miquon brags that the reading prompted the kindergarteners to “freely explore in the dress up area, to confidently act in theatrical roles across genders, and to respect the gender fluidity of our community members.” The school notes that these readings are used as a “provocation for deeper understandings about differences” such as those relating to “gender identity.”
Massachusetts’s Cambridge School of Weston is a member of NAIS and is partnered with PEN. It too has pushed left-wing doctrines on its students, and has even embedded leftwing doctrines into its curriculum.
The school requires students to fulfill a social justice requirement in order to graduate. In order to fulfill this requirement, a course must examine “historical and contemporary issues from the perspectives of non-western cultures and/or historically oppressed groups,” “structures of power and privilege — their history, causes, and effects,” or “models of social change, with the goal of advancing human rights and equity,” the site reads.
The Cambridge School of Weston also hosts affinity groups centered around students’ racial and gender identities and has a racial equity task force.
PEN’s Leadership Overlaps With NAIS
PEN’s mission and activities are unabashedly left-wing, and have affected the larger and more powerful National Association for Independent Schools, which is responsible for the accreditation of more than 1,600 K-12 private schools throughout the country.
There is significant overlap between the member schools of PEN and the NAIS, displaying ideological agreement between the two groups. The overlap between their leadership displays more extensive collaboration and ideological agreement between the organizations.
Chris Thinnes is on the board of PEN and on the NAIS’s advisory council on diversity. According to the bio for his blog, he is also a member of the EduColor collective, which “mobilizes advocates nationwide around issues of educational equity, agency, and justice.”
The Galloway School’s Head, Dr. James Calleroz White, has been on the NAIS’s board of trustees for approximately oen year. White, along with Galloway’s chief diversity officer Karen Bradberry, are listed as faculty for the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute Seminar.
Theressa Collins is an emeritus member of PEN and co-directs the organization’s flagship professional development activity, NiPEN. She’s also the upper school principal of the St. Paul Academy and Summit School, which sends students and staff members to multiple different woke conferences hosted by the NAIS, including the People of Color Conference, which was co-founded by a former Black Panther.
Although they exist as two separate entities and frame their objectives in different ways, the Progressive Education Network and the National Association of Independent Schools seem to share a common goal: to indoctrinate America’s schoolchildren with extreme left-wing beliefs on race and gender.
The Progressive Education Network, The Galloway School, The Miquon School, and The Cambridge School of Weston did not respond to requests for comment.