If a recent article in Education Week is to be believed, public school teacher candidates are being subjected to wild discrimination when it comes to thought and values.
Gone are subject knowledge and the ability to teach critical thinking. If candidates can’t repeat the right buzzwords and talking points – and if they don’t acknowledge explicitly that they are committed to seeing a student’s skin color and gender first and foremost, and treating them accordingly – they shouldn’t count on getting a call back.
Some school districts now admit to screening out people with “biases” during the hiring process, increasingly grilling teacher candidates about race, “cultural competency” and “equity” as they complete applications and interviews. All in the name of “diversifying” teaching staff (by skin color, not by thought) to supposedly match students.
“Can you teach these students, even if they don’t look like you, [even if] you’re not familiar with their culture? How are you going to teach them as if they were your child, your cousin, your brother, your sister?” asked Karen Rice-Harris, who chairs the “diversity, equity, and inclusion committee” of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators.
Rice-Harris, who is also a special education official at the Community Consolidated school district in Sauk Village, Ill., openly suggests that recruiters ask job candidates about their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and numerous other buzz-terms used to describe progressivism and opposition to the more traditional values of excellence, achievement, healthy competition and intellectual rigor.
Instead, applicants should be able to explain how they honor the diversity – that is, the skin color and gender – of their students in their instruction and curriculum, she said.
“One of the keys to student learning is finding the right match of educators who have the mindset … that educating students considering the totality of who they are is important,” Rice-Harris said. “As our world becomes more diverse, as K-12 education in America becomes more diverse, it is incumbent on the education field to make sure we embed solid practices in the hiring process and professional learning process.”
That is, weed out people who see human beings first, and not members of an ethnic group.
“Now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a culture, I do think that districts have started to emphasize these questions a little bit more,” said Lauren Dachille, founder and CEO of Nimble, a teacher-hiring software company that works with about 500 U.S. school districts.