Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association (NEA), recently told The New York Times that she is motivated to “reclaim public education as a common good, and transform it into something it was never designed to be: racially and socially just, and equitable.”
But is that the purpose of education, to be racially and socially just and equitable? And is that what parents want?
Pringle’s “agenda has plunged an organization that has historically tiptoed around racially fraught policy debates … headfirst into the racial reckoning unfolding in the nation’s public schools,” the Times said.
The “paper of record” reports, “This year, the N.E.A. published its Racial Justice in Education Resource Guide, which advises teachers on how to directly address issues such as white supremacy, implicit bias and acknowledging how race influences their work.”
The resource explains,
“Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice – or racial equity – goes beyond ‘anti-racism.’ It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.”
Its “guiding principles on racial and social justice in education” include these goals:
- Our work must dismantle white supremacy, and ensure that bigotry or discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability or national origin are not part of our classrooms, educational curricula, school policies and discipline practices.
- Our schools must be safe for all students, and free from state-sanctioned, racialized, and gender-based violence.
- Our work must promote and support the engagement of students of color and LGBTQ students in shaping policies that directly impact their educational experiences and foster safe and inclusive schools.
The NEA guide links “racial justice” to “LGBT and gender justice,” encouraging educators to “conduct ongoing structured racial justice trainings and workshops centered in gender identity and sexuality and, when possible, led by the LGBTQI community.”
The Times said that Pringle “acknowledges that she has alienated members with her platform,” but concludes that she has “seen progress.”
“There has been a sharp increase in the number of members seeking “micro-credentials” for racial justice, diversity and implicit bias training, so that teachers can better understand the student population they serve,” the Times reported.
Pringle – and the NEA – believe that opponents of critical race theory and radical sexual ideology don’t want students to learn the “unpleasant aspects of American history.”
She said, “We have to be honest with them [students] about times when our country has lived up to its magnificent promise and the times when it has not. So we’re going to continue to stand up and fight any efforts to censor our teachers, and continue to teach the true and complete history of America.”
Pringle is fighting a straw man. No conservative is saying that children shouldn’t be taught about the “unpleasant aspects of American history.” What they are saying is: Don’t sexualize our students and don’t teach them a biased, false history that views everything about our country through the lens of racism.
As The Daily Citizen has previously reported, the NEA has worked with the ACLU and LGBT groups like Gender Spectrum and the Human Rights Campaign to create a resource for schools, “Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools.”
The organization is a co-sponsor of the “Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings,” a yearly event where teachers, librarians, parents and transgender individuals read “transgender” books to elementary school children. Pringle tweeted that she was “thrilled” to participate in the event.
The NEA supports the killing of preborn infants. In July 2019, the organization voted to embrace a woman’s “fundamental right to abortion.”
The organization also has ties to “Black Lives Matter at School,” a movement rooted in Marxist, anti-family ideology; the Zinn Education Project, with curriculum based on material from communist sympathizer Howard Zinn; the widely discredited Southern Poverty Law Center; and GLSEN, which promotes LGBT activism on elementary, middle school and high school campuses.
The NEA took a hard left turn years ago, and Pringle is only pushing further that direction. We venture to suggest that most parents aren’t interested in their children being indoctrinated in woke ideology.
Rather than promoting an extremist political and sexual agenda, the organization Parents Defending Education suggests different goals:
We believe our children’s education should be based on scholarship and facts, and should nurture their development into the happy, resilient, free-thinking, educated citizens every democracy needs. Our classrooms should include rigorous instruction in history, civics, literature, math, the sciences, and the ideas and values that enrich our country.
We concur, believing most parents would be on board with those educational objectives.
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