5.4.22 – Townhall

“Biden's 'Equity' Plan for Education Funding Is Vehicle for More CRT Indoctrination”
By Jane Robbins

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Excerpts from this article:


As parents across the nation reject woke indoctrination of their children, the Biden administration is doubling down – with the help of clueless Republican politicians.

In January 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing all federal agency heads to ensure “racial equity and support for underserved communities” throughout federal programs and grants. The Department of Education (USED) has now responded to the call with a new “equity planfor education programs. To understand why these high-sounding declarations are actually a threat to American values, we must understand leftist double-speak.

First, “equity” isn’t the same thing as “equality.” Equality dictates that individuals be treated fairly, which means that similarly situated individuals should be treated the same regardless of their race, sex, etc. Equity is different. Equity requires equal outcomes for all identity groups, regardless of effort or ability or any other factor. 

If, for example, black students as a group lag behind white or Asian students in math scores for whatever reason, the school must take measures to equalize outcomes. Extreme but unfortunately common examples of such measures include abolishing advanced classes, and watering down admissions requirements for selective schools so that no students appear to be achieving more than others.

The other sneaky term of art is “underserved.” Stanley Kurtz explains in an illuminating National Review essay that in the education context, “underserved” students are poor and minority students who can only engage with education if it is delivered through a Critical Theory lens. That is, to reach these students, schools must base instruction on the assumed foundation that the U.S. is systemically racist/sexist/homophobic and generally oppressive. 

the Biden administration is announcing that all federal activities will be shaped to comply with hard-left dogma. 

In its new plan, USED not only adopts the “underserved communities” jargon but pledges “to ensure equity is the foundation upon which all decisions and protocols rest” (emphasis added). Grant applicants, for example (which includes practically all state education departments and many public-school districts and schools themselves), will be required to “delineate detailed and specific steps” they will take to “ensure equitable access to, and equitable participation in” the proposed federally funded project. 

USED plans to hire a platoon of new peer reviewers to scrutinize grant applications for compliance with the woke standard. So any state education department or other applicant that wants federal money for curricular and other programming – and who doesn’t want federal money? – will be out of luck without showing how, exactly, it plans to use the cash to ensure “equity” for the “underserved.”

In other words, the myriad education activities financed with federal money will now have to serve the cause of politicized indoctrination rather than genuine education. The goal will be to equalize outcomes among racial and sexual identity groups.

Which brings us to Republican complicity. Kurtz has also warned about the federal Civics Secures Democracy (CSD) Act, which, if introduced and passed in the current Congress, would authorize $6 billion in grants to states for civics programs and curricula in K-12 schools. Even in its revised form, the bill is directed to solving the problem of “underserved” students and, as Kurtz explains, would essentially federalize the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools. 

Two of the leading sponsors are Republicans – Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma. Responding to conservative warnings that CSD is a Trojan horse for radical indoctrination, Cornyn seems to misunderstand his own bill by claiming it would prohibit what it manifestly enables and funds. Cole promises to “closely monitor” how Biden educrats implement the CSD grants.

Under the new USED plan, those grants would be awarded only to state applicants that swear fealty to “equity” for the “underserved.” The newly hired apparatchiks would make sure any state education department that gets money will follow orders to push civics curricula and programs further and further to the left.

Republican politicians should be fighting this development every step of the way rather than joining forces with the leftist aggressors. 

They’ve [Republicans] been warned repeatedly about the inevitable outcome of their complicity, and Biden’s henchmen have been transparent about what they plan to do. CSD and any other bill that tightens federal strings around public schools must be defeated.