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West Ada School District to spend $125K on equity consultant endorsing CRT

West Ada School District to spend $125K on equity consultant endorsing CRT

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
June 15, 2022
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
Author Image
June 15, 2022

By: Anna Miller and Kaitlyn Shepherd

West Ada School District is spending $125K on equity consultant Education Elements to develop a districtwide strategic plan. Education Elements is a self-proclaimed anti-racist consulting firm seeking to “dismantle the systems of inequity that perpetuate oppression” in the school system and claiming that racism has “seeped into all American institutions.” 

Education Elements offers guidance to districts on how to train staff, conduct climate surveys, and develop strategic plans for equity, curriculum, and policy. The group will guide West Ada’s administration in developing a Comprehensive Strategic Plan that includes developing a vision statement, the Portrait of a Graduate (a social-emotional learning element), and “strategic [p]riorities and metrics for monitoring and growth” toward the group's equitable vision.

Every school in the district will be required to align their classroom practices and curriculum, staff training, and school culture according to the new strategic plan. 

But what does this equitable path forward look like? Education Elements shows us through its publicly available trainings, reading lists, and policy recommendations.

Education Elements pushes districts to adopt anti-racist curricula. For instance, the group promotes reading lists from critical race theorists and projects, including Ibram X. Kendi and the 1619 Project.

It endorses the emotional manipulation of young children through social-emotional learning to achieve “equity.”

The group recommends that school leadership consider “106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Injustice” such as protesting for the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement, defunding the police, “ensuring that Black educators are hired where Black children are being taught,” or joining a local “white space” group to learn about the privilege of being born white. 

Education Elements gives staff and teachers training on implicit bias, “white supremacy culture” in schools, and the promotion of “abolitionist teaching” to “counter colorblindness on intersectionality” in the classroom. 

It recommends making school discipline into a race issue by establishing restorative justice policies.

It encourages school officials to become more involved with other leftist interest groups like Learning for Justice (Formerly Teaching Tolerance), Showing Up for Racial Justice, Antiracism Center, and Equal Justice Initiative. 

It teaches schools to adopt debased grading for equity methods wherein students are not penalized for cheating or late work. 

Is this the future West Ada parents want for their children? 

Distressed parents have been wondering how critical race theory penetrated our education system. Following the money is one way to determine who is influencing the schools.

What has been discovered here is just the tip of the iceberg. Other Idaho school districts, including Coeur d’Alene, have hired equity consultants to change the trajectory of the education system. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on “equity.” Meanwhile students across Idaho are not proficient in reading or math. 

Legislators could rein in the public education budget to help stop this misuse of taxpayer funds. More importantly, parents should be given a choice in how their hard-earned money is spent to ensure it goes toward the education of their children, rather than the degradation of schools in the name of equity.

View Comments
  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    Government schools are simply another example of an "institution" for which decent Americans need to realize has not only failed them but is actively subverting their values. Every child that leaves this corrupt system is a victory for the good guys.

    A cursory review of the level of "knowledge" of a government school graduate will confirm how horrible this system is.

  • Bobby W says:

    Anna and Kaitlyn, i followed the hyperlink you provided in which you claim Education Elements' methods do not penalize students for cheating. I found nothing in the information from that hyperlink that supports your claim.
    Readers, dont believe this nonsense. Of course West Ada would not turn a blind eye to cheating. Education Elements web site says nothing about that.
    More nonsense from these staff writers trying to work you up.

    • Mike says:

      "alternative consequences for cheating" is right here in this paragraph.

      What changes in teacher practice have you seen since implementing proficiency-based grading?

      “This year, our changes have been small and incremental. We took the first semester of the school year to read excerpts from Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman and engage in conversation across grade levels and content areas to discuss those concepts and build consensus. By the start of Semester 2, we as a school had identified five smaller changes to make our grading more equitable: no zeros, no extra credit, no group grades, alternative consequences for cheating, and flexible timelines for work completion without penalty. We continue to work toward our big shifts coming in the fall with the implementation of proficiency rubrics, proficiency summative and report card grades. Many teachers are already making these shifts now, and our team is thoughtfully developing a consistent schoolwide plan for the fall.”

      • Bobby W says:

        Are you quoting from a West Ada document? And is "alternative consequences" synonymous to "not penalized" as IFF interprets it?

        • Mike says:

          Right from the Education Elements website.

          If the normal consequences are "penalized", then the whole sentence reads "not penalized".

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