Progressive education is not a Greenwich problem, but a national problem


Recently, a vice principal in Greenwich, Connecticut was apparently caught on video, confessing that he only hires progressive teachers. In the video, he explains that he will not hire Catholics because they are too rigid, nor older teachers because they are too ingrained in their habits, so that he can bend them to his mission of education. progressive.

In Greenwich, he’s probably an outlier. I live in Greenwich and have a second year student in the school system. He’s had two great teachers and is just getting started with a seemingly very promising third. Still, most of the harms of progressive education happen in the upper grades, so I’ll reserve judgment.

Yet the issue is not so much a Greenwich issue as a national issue, or, more accurately, a Beltway issue. The national teachers unions headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the Biden administration very clearly promote a leftist agenda. They are doing all they can to inject critical race theory (CRT) into public schools across the country, despite all their protestations to the contrary.

Just months into the Biden administration in April 2021, the federal Department of Education placed a creation of proposed rules in the Federal Register stating that, in allocating federal grants for education in American history and civics, he would prioritize federal grants for teacher training and classroom instruction to projects that “integrate practices anti-racism in teaching and learning”.

The proposed rule cited the work of one of the most radical progressives as an authoritative basis for the rule: “As the scholar Ibram X. Kendi has expressed… ‘Anti-racist ideas hold that racist policies are the cause racial inequality.'” Kendi is infamous for many inflammatory statements such as “The only cure for racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination”. Apparently, Professor Kendi has never heard the adage that two wrongs don’t make a right.

With regard to the national teachers’ unions, we find that National Education Association Passing a Resolution at its 2021 annual meeting: “The NEA will provide a pre-created in-depth study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-blackness, anti-indigenousness, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society, and that we oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or the “1619 Project”. to oppose the banning of CRT is to promote the CRT.

For his part, the American Federation of Teachers distributes free books from First Books to school districtsa non-profit association, which itself distributes Professor Kendi’s books free of charge.

Greenwich’s assistant manager is just a foot soldier in a war being waged from Washington, DC A recent column in the Wall Street Journal revealed what one might imagine: a constellation of consultants pushing ideology, providing training, and distributing educational materials on the CRT and other elements of the extreme progressive agenda.

The Journal reported on a Pennsylvania school district that contracted with Pacific Education Group for teacher training. The district denied a parent’s request for a copy of the training materials until he sued in federal court and won.

Even after losing the lawsuit and after the training materials became public, the district asserted that “no ‘course, program, or program’ in the district ‘teaches critical race theory’.”

The Journal’s editors reviewed the material and concluded that the teachers were clearly trained in CRT. The Journal observed that school districts may “think they can drive parents away by making a distinction between teacher training and curriculum.”

Then the forum got to the heart of the matter: “But what is the use of teacher training if not to inform teachers about how they should teach?

It is clear that the CRT and associated radical ideological theories are not bubbling up in a groundswell from the American base. He is being force-fed from Washington, DC.

It’s blooming everywhere: math instruction in California; school staff in Washington State; in elite schools in new york; in Loudoun County, Virginia.and Rhode Island; and many other places too numerous to list.

Washington, DC progressives want to use public schools as centers of indoctrination. When the parents push back, they triggered the dispatch of federal law enforcement to “investigate” allegations of violence against school boards. The Washington-based National School Boards Association made the allegation in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland. However, when the The NSBA has withdrawn its letterGarland didn’t remember the FBI.

Teaching a theory so controversial and divisive that it must be disseminated throughout the school system primarily “under cover of obscurity” – that is, masked by denial that it is present or embraced and taught – is not something parents should defend. Parents whose parental rights and authority are overridden by progressives and teacher unions should push back vigorously.

Red Jahncke is chairman of Townsend Group, a management consultancy in Greenwich.


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