February 22, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

1619 Project, critical race theory in Wichita schools

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Red, White, and Black – Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers is, according to its publisher, “corrective to the falsified version of black history presented by The 1619 Project, radical activists, and money-hungry “diversity consultants.”  It is a collection of essays by the most prominent and respected black scholars and thinkers who came together to “correct the record and tell the true story of black Americans in all its complexity, diversity of experience, and poignancy.”

That ‘falsified version of black history’ is being promoted by the Wichita school district under the guise of diversity and equity, aka, critical race theory.  District spokesperson Wendy Johnson says the district has “not approved or recommended, per se” the 1619 Project and similar resources listed, but simply “provides the material as resources” for teachers.

Yeah, right.  USD 259 isn’t fooling anyone with their ‘not approved or recommended’ tap dance. None of the resources listed with The 1619 Project (under Lesson Plans, by the way) help students understand the full history of Blacks in America or of the workings of our Constitution and the founding principles of our constitutional republic. The district is just promoting resources that sour students on our constitutional republic.

Robert L. Woodson, Sr.

Red, White, and Black is edited by Robert L. Woodson, Sr.  Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley says Thompson is “a veteran community activist who broke with the traditional civil-rights leadership in the 1970s after realizing that the agenda of “racial grievance groups” like the NAACP was increasingly at odds with the actual wants and needs of the black underclass.”

Riley says Woodson was “incensed” by The 1619 Project and “responded by initiating his own project, “1776 Unites,” which enlisted a group of black scholars, journalists and social activists “who uphold the true origins of our nation and the principles through which its founding promise can be fulfilled.”

But the Wichita school board and administration must not want students to hear that perspective.

Other historical distortions, indoctrination promoted by USD 259

The Wichita district pushes other ‘resources’ on teachers that consciously indoctrinate students with a distorted view of history and one-sided thinking.

The Zinn Education Project makes no bones about ‘flipping the script’ on history.  The Washington Examiner says its founder, Howard Zinn, is “a Marxist historian who served as a foot soldier in the Communist Party.”

Other ‘resources’ promoted by the Wichita school board and administration include Black Lives Matter and the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center.

Pushing these one-sided ideas on teachers and students amounts to blatant indoctrination by the Wichita district.  And contrary to their chest-thumping about ending discrimination, USD 259 is guilty of perpetuating educational discrimination against low-income students, many of whom are students of color.

USD 259 perpetuates educational discrimination

The Wichita school board and administration pursues their indoctrination program to the detriment of their primary mission of academically preparing students for college and career.

Only 9% of low-income high school students are on track for college and career in math, and just 13% in English language arts; their more affluent peers are about three times more likely to be on track.  Low-income students are seven times more likely to be below grade level than on track in math.

These achievement gaps are getting worse despite large funding increases; USD 259 budgeted to spend $16,666 per student in the year just ended.

The Wichita school board is consciously ignoring its stated mission of preparing students “to achieve college, career and life readiness through an innovative and rigorous educational experience.”  The entire community suffers when a school district fails to academically prepare students, and change is not going to happen from within the district.

That’s why the upcoming elections on August 3 and November 2 are so important.  Voters must determine which candidates will put students’ academic needs above all else and go en masse to the polls.  Anything else is effectively endorsing the district’s indoctrination practices and academic dereliction of duty.

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