City kids are struggling with basic math and English — but a new Department of Education curricular initiative wants classrooms to focus on racial privilege and activism, The Post has learned.
Pushed by Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, the “Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education” program will require schools to “identify and interrupt policies and practices that center historically advantaged social/cultural groups and lead to predictable outcomes of success or failure for historically marginalized students.”
“The simplistic narrative that is being peddled is white privilege,” said Maud Maron, president of Community Education Council 2.
“What’s confounding about this proposal is that it doesn’t acknowledge the successes of students doing well in New York City public schools and instead identifies it as problematic of white privilege,” said Maron, who is also running for City Council in lower Manhattan.
“They also have to deal with the inconvenient fact that somehow low-income Asian students are outperforming all other groups in a system they argue historically and currently centers whiteness.”
The DOE directive further states that classroom activities should “foster critical consciousness about historical and contemporary forms of bias oppression” and schools will now also be expected to “promote student agency to end societal inequities.”
In an interview with education news website Chalkbeat earlier this month, outgoing Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg said that CR-SE “has been the biggest system-wide change that we’re seeing right now.”
The controversial initiative is part of an overall push by Carranza that also includes a widespread desegregation plan to combat what education officials have referred to as “implicit bias’’ in the system. But the schools chief’s proposals have only served to pit white parents against minority ones, critics charge.
“This is just a diversion,” charged Mona Davids, of the NYC Parents Union. “This is to distract parents from the fact that their kids are not being educated properly and are graduating illiterate and innumerate.”
Davids argued that the DOE is trespassing on instructional territory once reserved for parents.
“This isn’t their job,” she said. “Their only job is to educate our children so they can be productive citizens and compete. If they can’t do math or English — which is basically air and water for their future — then they won’t have a future.”
DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson denied the CR-SE was a push against “white privilege,” and said, “New York City’s diversity is its greatest strength, and it should be reflected in our lessons and textbooks.”
“Kids learn better when they learn about topics that are relevant to their and their classmates’ lives,” she said.
“I think there is value in the culturally responsive education curriculum that is being discussed but it runs the very real risk — as I have seen it implemented in my district — of making education an afterthought in our schools,” Maron said.
The measure will be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy next week. Of its 13 members, eight are appointed by the mayor and the others by borough presidents.
The DOE invited public comment on CR-SE but only received six emailed replies calling for schools to highlight how “whiteness” perpetuates inequality and that CR-SE policy “should explicitly name that black and brown children have been disproportionately harmed by the New York City education system.”
Source: Read Full Article