Peter Svab writes in the Epoch Times:
Public schools are increasingly spending taxpayer money on programs that push quasi-Marxist ideology on their students.
School districts across the nation have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on programs such as Deep Equity, Youth Equity Stewardship (YES), and others that claim to help minority students do better at school, but have an ideological agenda mixed in.
Deep Equity and YES are provided by California-based educational for-profit Corwin. On their face, the programs look to expose teachers and students to different cultures to help them better understand students of different backgrounds. But piggybacked on that notion is the introduction of more far-left, progressive political theories such as “intersectionality” and “white privilege.”
Similar programs and initiatives have been introduced to thousands of schools across the nation, many times, it appears, without parents’ noticing or understanding what they entail.
According to Michael Rectenwald, former liberal studies professor at New York University and author of “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom” and “Springtime for Snowflakes: ‘Social Justice’ and Its Postmodern Parentage,” the intersectional theory replaced Marxism among contemporary leftists, but bears many similarities to Marxism.
Instead of focusing solely on “class struggle,” the theory applies the Marxist concept of “struggle” broadly to relationships between races, genders, ethnicities, religions, and a plethora of other “identity groups.”
“In the case of Marxism, the solution is revolution and overthrow of the ruling class, the bourgeoisie or capitalist class. In the case of intersectionality, the solution is to eradicate the ‘privilege’ of the oppressor identity group,” he told The Epoch Times in an email.
Through the lens of the intersectional theory, human history is largely reduced to white Christian men being the “oppressors,” and everybody else being “intersected” by one or more layers of this “oppression.”
Literary critic and author Bruce Bawer wrote in his book “The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind” that “they’ve been trained to reduce the rich complexities and ambiguities of human life to simple formulas about oppressors and oppressed, capitalists and workers, Western imperialists and their non-Western victims.”
Similarly, the Deep Equity training manual blames different average educational outcomes between different groups of students on such “systems of oppression.”
The manual, a copy of which was reviewed by The Epoch Times, states, “We go deeply into those historical and contemporary dynamics that have created and sustained systems of oppression, marginalization, and inequity for far too many of our students and their families.”
While the common meaning of oppression usually refers to cruel treatment and subjugation by tyrannical authority, advocates of intersectionality have the term encompass “implicit” (meaning unintentional) actions in day-to-day life.
For example, assuming that somebody is heterosexual in a casual conversation is called “heterosexism” and is one of the many “insidious and often implicit and intersectional inequities” and “oppressions,” according to a 2016 paper by Paul Gorski, founder of the Equity Literacy Institute (ELI) (pdf).
“Equity” as portrayed by advocates of “intersectionality” means a demand for students from “identity groups” they deem “oppressed” to receive more resources.
They insist that the cause for any difference in average outcomes between the groups must be some form of discrimination, according to Robin Eubanks, a lawyer, education researcher, in her book “Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon.”
Even though “equity” advocates often claim they want to ensure success for everyone, ELI makes clear that “equity” is about taking from some in order to give to others.
“Equity is about redistributing access and opportunity, so equity initiatives should be about redistributing access and opportunity,” its website says.
The YES guidebook, reviewed by The Epoch Times, promotes much of the same ideology as Deep Equity but in a less obvious manner, such as through art assignments and lyrics of songs taught to the students.
“Essentially, students and teachers are being taught anti-white, anti-Christian hate,” said a parent of a child in the Arizona’s Chandler Unified School District (CUSD), which covers over 45,000 students in the southeastern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. “Students are taught to lecture adults about their biases. They are being taught to be social justice activists.”
The district introduced YES and Deep Equity in 2018 at a cost of more than $400,000, Arizona Daily Independent reported.
District officials have defended the programs, saying YES is voluntary for students and that for Deep Equity, the district only used some parts and left out the material parents mainly objected to.
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