A leak from a Madison Metropolitan School District employee in Madison, Wisconsin reportedly revealed how school officials had embedded racially discriminatory practices into its elementary education.
In an attempt to support disadvantaged children, MMSD has created and implemented a systematic method of prioritizing minority students based on race, according to a report analyzing ‘equity’ in the US public education system by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.
WILL examined how ‘equity’ manifests itself in practice at the local level.
MMSD’s policy for “small teaching groups”—the grouping of students used to reinforce or relearn specific skills and fundamental concepts through a reduced student-teacher ratio—contains an explicit racial classification.
According to instructions leaked to WILL, elementary school teachers in the school district were tasked in 2022 with “[p]prioritize your African American students by meeting first and most often. A screenshot of MMSD’s race-based policy was included in WILL’s report. “to the idea of fairness.
“But the discrimination doesn’t stop there,” WILL reported. “English learners (often the very minority students that ‘equity’ seems to target) are placed at the end of the line,” WILL explained. “Prioritize your English language learners who meet with you second and more often,” states the MMSD policy. Then teachers are supposed to “[g]group the rest of the students together after prioritizing your AA [African American] and ELL [English Language learners] students.”
“It is important that our small educational groups are created based on what is best for students and how our school is operating during this time of school reopening during a pandemic,” prefaces the purported message to educators. . “It is also important for us to prioritize and group our service students [sic] of our SIP, our vision of black equity and excellence,” the notice pivots, then lists the outlined steps teachers should take to create the small instructional groups.
The gatherings were designed to promote the assimilation of the subjects taught in class. These settings, depending on the language of the MMSD document, were created to provide learning spaces for reading, foundational skills, and math.
Prioritizing access to learning based on race doesn’t stop there.
In a similar policy launched in August 2021, MMSD, in partnership with the city of Madison, offered a program where brown and black girls entering ninth grade in the area were the preferred demographic. In the description of “Dear Diary’s 8th Grade Transition Program,” officials explicitly stated that in this youth program, girls with particular skin colors were the targeted candidates.
“Applications are open for black/brown Madison-area girls entering 9th grade,” the event registration document reads. “Space is limited.”
In a 2021 grant application to expand the “Dear Diary” youth program, event organizers explained that the initiative is “rooted in equity,” noting that the “challenge with people of color is d ‘Being transparent with who we are because everything we’ve learned is okay has been rooted in white supremacy.’
Commenting on his findings before listing similar cases across America, WILL pointed to the irony behind enforcing “equity” in K-12 schooling.
“Schools use the term ‘equity’ as shorthand to indicate that they are committed to identifying and eliminating all racial disparities,” the statement said. “While such goals may be laudable, the devil is clearly in the details. A school’s method of eliminating racial disparities is often to treat students differently based on race. This is illegal. But schools don’t know or don’t care.As indicated from the documents below, schools that embrace “equity” stay true to their goal of equal outcomes for all students, regardless of the consequences. .”
WILL cautioned readers against using the term “equity” to portray these progressive practices as working towards the desired “equality”.
“In short, any use of the word ‘equity’ should raise red flags in the minds of parents who support the principles of equality and non-discrimination,” WILL said.
At the time of the report’s release, the Madison Metropolitan School District did not respond to The post-millenniumrequest for comment.