State Educational Department Working Session Ignored “Equity” Concerns

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The first week of November, the North Carolina State Board of Education/NCDPI held a working session. Concerning slides and discussions centered around restorative justice, CRT, SEL and “Equity”.

The progressive outlet, EdNC, wrote an article about this meeting. At one point this article states:
“The current state teacher of the year, Eugenia Floyd, shared how she does this [incorporates social emotional learning] through such restorative practices as healing circles.” Healing circles?

and this:

“…multiple sources at DPI confirmed that more than one district declined statewide funding for the Panorama social- emotional dashboard, and two districts even pulled out of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey because of parent and community pressure. “

This second quote should not be overlooked. NCDPI knows that local districts and parents are highly concerned about the progressive equity direction foisted upon them by the state. Those in the DPI leadership could argue that just because this working meeting had progressive topics presented, doesn’t meant that these policies will be enacted.

That is bull, and the EdNC article proves it.

Despite knowing that districts and parents are fighting against these topics, no one from these districts was invited to speak regarding their concerns. The NCDPI/SBE hosted NO COUNTERARGUMENTS or DIVERSE VIEWPOINTS on these subjects. It was an indoctrination session. The NCDPI actively ignored the concerns of these districts.

Are there data-supported counterarguments to be presented and reviewed? Yes.

Heritage released an Oct 19, 2021 report on Equity/Diversity Officers in schools and found that having these positions worsened achievement gaps! Why didn’t Superintendent Truitt and others like SBE Chair Eric Davis bring this to the working meeting? Districts with chief diversity officers (CDO) resulted in widened achievement gaps over time from 2009-2018 among white-black, white-Hispanic, and income levels. Heritage did account for the potential bias of CDOs placed in districts with already enlarged gaps: “perhaps districts create CDO positions because they have larger achievement gaps that they wish to remedy”. Heritage studied standardized test results from 2009-2018 in districts with CDO’s compared to those without: “the white–black achievement gap grew by 0.03 grade levels each year in districts with CDOs relative to districts without that position. The white–Hispanic achievement gap grew by 0.02 grade levels more per year”.

So why did gaps widen? Because these equity/diversity officers promote politics and ideologies that cause controversy and distract from achievement: “CDOs do not and cannot promote equality in student outcomes; instead, they create inequities in political power by using taxpayer funds to aid one side in two-sided debates over controversial issues. Opponents of critical race theory and other illiberal ideas need to make the case to their local school boards that CDO positions should not be created or expanded in their districts. State legislatures could also guide districts away from creating these types of positions.”

Already we see evidence of the Heritage report conclusions emerging in North Carolina. Recently, in New Hanover, busloads of students from various “Equity Clubs” across the district were bussed to a day of “Equity” training by hired consultant firm Sophic Solutions, LLC. This LLC provides anti-racist trainings and identity-based equity audits for schools. 80% of the students who attended this event were minorities. While dozens of minority students were chanting “Equity is Equality”, non-minority students remained in academic classes learning math and science.

The responsibility of removing minority students from academic classes to indoctrinate them in “equity” ideology falls upon New Hanover’s deputy superintendent, Dr. LaChawn Smith. Dr. Smith signed the contract with Sophic Solutions for these trainings. Sophic Solutions performed an “Equity Audit” on New Hanover Schools, concluding that New Hanover needed a Chief of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer. That CDO will be LaChawn Smith. The equity audit benefited Dr. Smith at tax-payer expense, but it does not appear to have benefitted the students of New Hanover.

Alert everyone you know: every state board member, state legislator, and Superintendent Truitt. The data is out, and “Equity” or “Diversity” are not the panaceas the edu-crats think they are. Evidence already exists that equity officers and programs will segregate students and widen achievement gaps, while benefitting Leftist ideologues; just look to New Hanover as proof. North Carolina students deserve intellectual rigor from their schools. This will not happen through ideological healing circles and chief diversity officers.

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nancy
Nancy Andersen, MD
No Left Turn in Education, NC Chapter

Nancy Andersen, MD lives in North Carolina.  After receiving her Board Certification in General Surgery, she elected to stay at home with her children.  Because of this decision, she witnessed first hand the attempts of far-Left ideological indoctrination in her children's private elementary school.  Since that experience, she has been studying and writing about the anti-intellectual and activist movements appearing in k-12 education.  As chapter head for North Carolina's No Left Turn in Education she brings these issues to light on both local and state levels.

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