BREAKING: Philadelphia Public Schools Require Disturbing Training

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It’s a bad time to be a teacher in Philadelphia. By all accounts, the school district has gone absolutely off its rocker, treating woke platitudes as unvarnished truth. 

While standard in many public entities these days, Philadelphia has chosen a more radical stance. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s video, which introduces the school district’s equity framework, is complete and utter propaganda. 

The video lists a series of eight “equity professional learning guiding principles,” all of which are designed to further the program’s “anti-racist” mission. However, one of the principles, “ownership,” tries to bully white teachers into admitting that they’re racist by birth.

The program, which is mandatory for all teachers employed by the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), demands that educators “understand the importance of my role in anti-racist work. I will gain strategies to support my role in implementing anti-racist education.”

Among scholars of critical race theory, white people are often characterized as oppressors who, even by unknowingly living their lives as normal people do, foster the perpetuation of white supremacy. A failure to “deconstruct” their identity makes them racist, if they aren’t so already.. 

So, in order to meet the requirements of the equity program, white teachers would have to “deconstruct” their identity and admit that they were born and raised as racists. If you don’t see race, that also makes you a racist. This concept was also hinted at in the program’s introduction, a photo of which was sent to Chalkboard Review. 

So what does the SDP define as equity, then? How is a white teacher supposed to, you know, teach with that kind of mindset?

The SDP video defines equity as “to cultivate prosperity and liberation for students and staff, starting with historically marginalized populations, by removing barriers, increasing access and inclusion, building trusting relationships, and creating a shared culture of social responsibility and commitment to organizational accountability.”

Wait, liberation from what, exactly? This is America, the only liberation we needed is from dogmatic poppycock that is tearing our country apart. My ancestors were members of a Mexican militia chased around by the Texas Rangers. I don’t feel a need to be liberated. 

Regardless, the video’s absurdity does not stop there. In order to meet that loaded definition of equity, SDP makes seven commitments:

1. “Dismantle policies and disrupt practices steeped in institutionalized racism and other systems of oppression that undermine student success.”

2. “Intentionally acknowledge and address the historical origins and current forces behind the inequities we seek to eliminate.”

3. “Authentically lead and serve with equity principles in our planning, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation centering the needs of our students and families.”

4. “Ensure and redistribute resources to our most marginalized students in order to eliminate the predictability of success or failure based on historical trends.”

5. “Ensure all individuals embody practices of equity by holding ourselves accountable to a shared culture of growth and continuous learning with a deep focus on eliminating disparaging beliefs about students and their families.”

6. “Celebrate cultural diversity, amplify the voices, and respond to the feedback of marginalized communities within our district.”

7. “Hold ourselves accountable and make our processes transparent by sharing the progress we are making towards our commitments to equity on a regular basis.”

 “Whiteness” is defined as a belief in assimilation. “Internalized racism” is noted to particularly occur when someone participates in “the set of attitudes, behaviors, social structures, and ideologies” of the “dominating group.” Any person who isn’t white is labeled as “marginalized.” This includes white women as well. 

The message here is clear. The district is embracing progressive wealth distribution policies, labeling America and all of its principles racist, making all decisions with an SJW mindset, and coercing teachers into submitting to their demands. Remember that America was founded not on race, but a core principle of universal liberty and equality. Apparently, that’s evil now. 

I doubt SDP is all that interested in transparency or accountability either. But the fun doesn’t stop there. 

Under the section, “Leading for Equity,” SDP demands that teachers acknowledge “how existing systems and beliefs maintain disparities.” If that isn’t an attempt at a subtle attack against capitalism, the principles of the Enlightenment, and American ideals themselves, I don’t know what is. 

In addition, the district’s “Equity Lens” encourages teachers to “assume best intentions,” “trust the process,” “center race and equity,” and “ground conversation in evidence.”

If the goal is to ground conversation in evidence, I’m not sure how making everything about race accomplishes it. 

The SDP deals a final blow to its integrity when it lists its recommended texts. This includes “Not Light, But Fire,” whose author frequently praises critical race theory scholars Ibram Kendi and Robin DeAngelo, and “Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools,” which claims that “racial stress” is a significant, underlying factor in student achievement. 

While this is a teacher training module, it is likely that the district is going to ask them, either openly or subtly, to promote these beliefs in the classroom. Children should not be seeing this. Adults should not be seeing this.

Rather than educating and supporting its teachers, SDP is indoctrinating them with racial propaganda rooted in critical race theory. This is an unacceptable use of taxpayer dollars, and an indictment against district officials. 

Teachers, students, families, and activists need to continue to stand up and speak out. This will never end otherwise.

Garion Frankel
Garion Frankel is a graduate student at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service with a concentration in education policy and management. He is a Young Voices contributor, and Chalkboard Review’s breaking news reporter.