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DEI’s demise will save public education


The Washington Times - DEI’s demise will save public education - Division, excuses and incompetence
R.I.P. DEI

OPINION:


Last week, the University of Texas at Dallas made headlines when it shuttered its DEI-related jobs, offices and programs. The decision was not made because the university finally realized that people are complex individuals who cannot be pigeonholed into an identity but because Texas lawmakers, via SB 17, put such programs in the crosshairs.


DEI, which stands for diversity, equity and inclusion, is a mindset that all people of various backgrounds should feel welcome in their school or place of business. While the mindset sounds noble, the means by which its end is reached has caused many to claim DEI is arbitrary at best and racist at worst.


In Seattle, school officials tossed its traditional honors program, in which highly capable students were placed into small cohorts to receive an advanced education. The district is now throwing those gifted students into a whole classroom experience because of equity, which Vice President Kamala Harris defines as equality of outcome.


Seattle is about to open Pandora’s box.


Since a student struggling in math, regardless of race, will not be able to keep pace with a gifted student, regardless of race, Seattle schools have created a horrible dichotomy. Either the teacher will continue to teach to the gifted students, thus causing much of the non-gifted class to continue its learning loss, or the teacher will teach to the non-gifted students, thus neglecting the needs of the gifted students and placing equity over excellence.


Why would Seattle schools do this? It did not like the racial makeup of the highly capable cohort. According to The Seattle Times, the 2022-23 racial makeup of the honors classes was 52% White, 16% Asian and 3.4% Black.


And if you questioned the wisdom of tossing the gifted program because it appeared inequitable, knives out.


“This is a pretty masterful job at tokenizing a really small community of color within the existing cohort,” quipped school board member Chandra Hampson. Ms. Hampson, a White woman, was responding to the concerns of Black parents with children in the gifted program.


In the world of DEI, a White woman knows better than a Black parent how to best educate the child of the Black parent. Let that sink in.


Stories like Seattle show why Texas is not alone in the push to place DEI in the same boneyard as Jim Crow. The dismantling of DEI has just begun in Texas, with The Associated Press estimating 100 DEI jobs lost. But it won’t end in the Lone Star State. As reported by USA Today, “at least 82 bills seeking to slash higher education DEI initiatives have been introduced in 28 states and the U.S. Congress … a dozen have been signed into law.”


To Americans tired of being told that merit is discriminatory and being colorblind is racist, the harmony of “ding-dong, the DEI witch is dead” rang through the air. But progressives — a group that has been crafting education policy in America for over a century — viewed the recent push to dismantle DEI as an act of heresy.


But if DEI really worked, wouldn’t businesses have adopted it willingly? And if it really worked, wouldn’t we start hearing demands to bring DEI to America’s stadiums and arenas, the world of sports?


Athletic teams need star power, they need unadulterated talent, they need coaches at the top of their game, and, most importantly, they need to win. Does any sane individual think DEI fits into that equation?


Imagine if the Green Bay Packers decided that DEI meant that its team should reflect the proportionality of the community it serves. That would mean roughly 72% of the team should be White, and roughly 5% of the team should be Black.


Translation: Qualified Black players would have to give up their spot on the roster so that an arguably less qualified White player could take it, solely on the basis that the White player has two parents descended from the European continent.


In what universe does that make sense?


So, if DEI is a horrid business model, why does it have a stranglehold on our public education system — from prekindergarten to graduate school?


It goes back to one simple question: What is the purpose of education? Is education an opportunity given to all who wish to succeed, or is it a mandate that requires all to achieve the same outcome?


DEI is not about teaching students to become better; it is about giving students excuses for their shortcomings, and it is about separating people by the color of their skin. It is a cancer in public schools that removes excellence and replaces it with “social and emotional learning,” “equitable experiences” and “diverse student bodies.”


Every stakeholder in the public school system has experienced the disastrous effects of DEI. From watered-down curricula to discouraging gifted classes, promoting students who need not be promoted, and protecting incompetence in leadership and in the classroom, DEI has removed the rugged individualism that built our nation and replaced it with an educationalized version of Marxism.


Have we not learned from the Civil Rights Movement and the wisdom of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.? Are we doomed to repeat it?


DEI is division, excuses and incompetence. Dismantling it gives a glimmer of hope that we have not slept through our history classes.


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Joseph R. Murray is an award-winning middle school teacher residing in west Tennessee and a contributor to KFAX AM San Francisco. He is a former civil rights attorney and speechwriter for Patrick J. Buchanan. He can be reached at jrm@joemurraylaw.com.

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