VIDEO: New “Racial Literacy Curriculum” for High School Pushes Social Justice in Every Subject, Including Math
A new curriculum released by Pollyanna, Inc., diversity consultant to over 60 high-priced elite K-12 schools, preaches that “all texts grapple with race, either explicitly or implicitly,” that “health can be experienced at every size,” and tasks students with planning protests in math class.
Pollyanna Inc.’s new “Racial Literacy Curriculum” for high school students injects a Critical Race Theory lens and radical far-left politics into several major subjects of study, including English, Math, History, Biology, and Art.
At a leaked “implementation seminar” held on May 5, project manager Julia Kingsdale led prospective teachers and administrators through each of the 65 lessons of the curriculum, many of which not only rely on activist scholarship, but involve assignments directing students to becoming activists themselves.
Whether it concerns immigration, climate change, prison reform, income inequality, the curriculum is a cornucopia of political litmus tests, where every subject is exploited as a vector to promote policies popular with the AOC wing of the Democratic Party.
Every lesson is grounded in the tenets of Critical Race Theory—that systemic racism undergirds every aspect of society, and accounts for all disparities between racialized groups. The curriculum is designed to be used whole or in part, but if fully implemented throughout a given school, a student could find themselves spending a full calendar year working through the material.
Art as a Tool for Activism
It’s bad enough to teach propaganda, but teaching students to be propagandists is even worse. For example, in an Art lesson about “culture jamming” students learn how graffiti artists “broadcast subversive messages about race and social justice,” before themselves being tasked to produce their own art “challenging their viewers to think about an aspect of race or social justice from a new perspective.” In a subsequent lesson, students learn how to make their own prints as a tool for activism.
All “Texts” Grapple With Identity and Race
The English curriculum promotes the concept of “intersectionality,” which in the context of storytelling focuses on the membership of authors, characters, and readers in multiply marginalized groups. The course also reflects a postmodernist theoretical framework—”texts” are understood to be much broader than mere literature, and can include movies, graphic novels, even a culture itself, all of which are to be looked at through a racial lens. As the facilitator makes clear, “All texts grapple with race, either implicitly, or explicitly.”
Planning a Protest in Math Class
Even math class is exploited as a chance to turn students into social justice activists. In one assignment, students are tasked with planning a protest in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The final lesson of the mathematics curriculum explains the disproportionate killings of minorities by police as due to systemic racism. Relying on data from the activist group “Center for Policing Equity,” the curriculum author disingenuously conflates use of force disparities with disparities in the use of lethal force, ignoring a notable study by Roland Fryer suggesting that although applications of force are more frequent by police upon minority suspects, no disparities exist in the application of lethal force once accounting for controls such as the race of the officer, and whether or not the suspect drew a weapon. Curriculum that strawmans and “debunks” in such an intellectually irresponsible way is indoctrination, not education.
Health at Any Size
Under the biology-denying rubric that health is “socially constructed,” the “Health and Wellness” unit amplifies the canard that individuals can be “healthy at any size.” When mortality rates during a pandemic are tied to co-morbidities like obesity, teachers need to be clear that excessive weight gain is dangerous.
A Choice between “enlightenment” and “staying in the darkness”
At one point in the session, a teacher in attendance asked Kingsdale how best to respond to student pushback. Her answer was to present students with a choice between “sitting in guilt” and “evolving their understanding.” However, at no point are the purported truths pushed in this curriculum ever in doubt. Students “receive this information” and, once they are explained to them, they should “rather go through the difficult but enlightening process” of acceptance and learning than stay in the darkness of thinking “there’s no such thing as racism.”
To educators like Kingsdale, disbelief or questioning the existence or scope of “systemic” racism is tantamount to disbelief in racism itself, and can be dismissed out of hand as “staying in darkness.” Such is the logic of cults.
“Objectives” and “Key Understandings”
Critical Social Justice ideology is cemented in the “Objectives” and “Key Understandings” sections of the teachers’ guide, and students steered away from “possible misunderstandings”.
The full “Racial Literacy Curriculum” is available for free on Pollyanna’s website. I urge all parents who anticipate this material arriving in their child’s school to download it to review for themselves.
What is Pollyanna, Inc.?
Pollyanna, Inc., is a high-priced diversity consultant to the nation’s most elite and influential K-12 institutions. An archive of their most recent client list (which they pulled off their site after an exposé by Manhanttan Institute’s City Journal in 2021), boasts over 60 top National Association of Independent Schools schools, including Horace Mann, Riverdale, and Spence School in New York City, and Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles. Casper Caldarola, the founder of Pollyanna, was a former member of the Dalton board of trustees. Her background is in marketing and communications.
One of Pollyanna’s newest offerings is the four part workshop, “MaPaGa + Me: The ABCs of Race-Conscious Parenting, which where parents and guardians learn how to talk about race with their children who are four years old or younger.
Paul Rossi is a high school mathematics teacher, tutor, and writer. In April 2021, he went public about the impact of Critical Race Theory and pedagogy on his students at Grace Church School, where he had taught since 2012. He is currently an advisor to the Educational Liberty Alliance and a co-founder of The Chalkboard Heresy Show, which platforming dissidents in education. Please send tips and stories to [email protected] or DM him on Twitter at @pauldrossi.
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