They didn’t object when Democrats Laura Kelly, Sharice Davids, and Barbara Bollier got financial backing from out-of-state donors. But Stand Up Blue Valley and Game On for Kansas Schools are having hypocritical hissy fits over school board candidates being backed by the student-focused 1776 Project PAC.
Judith Deedy, Executive Director of Game On for Kansas Schools, told the Sunflower State Journal that outside money is an “unwelcome intrusion”. In a Facebook post, Stand Up Blue Valley said “This is yet another example of an ongoing battle with hostile outsiders.”
Shawnee Mission school board president Heather Ousley, who is running for re-election, said, “It seems to be propaganda and disinformation. They are intentionally stirring up false outrage with bad information so as to attack public schools.”
It’s not that the 1776 Project PAC is an out-of-state organization that angers Ousley, Deedy, and SUBV. They are terrified that, contrary to their propaganda, parents might learn the truth about low student achievement in Johnson County schools.
According to the Kansas Department of Education’s 2019 state assessment results, 21% of high school students in Blue Valley are below grade level and just 49% are on track for college and career in math. In Shawnee Mission and Olathe, a third of high school students are below grade level and just a third are on track.
Changes to improve student achievement would inconvenience the adults in leadership and tarnish their carefully-polished reputations, and Ousley, Deedy, et al are not about to let student needs get in the way of their interests. They refuse to say how long it will take to get kids at least to grade level because they know the answer is ‘never.’
The 1776 Project PAC promotes patriotism and pride in American History. They are particularly opposed to Critical Race Theory being taught in schools. CRT indoctrinates students by saying things like the United States was founded as a racist nation, people are White are racist because they are White, and that people of color are victims of White supremacy.
Ousley, Deedy, et al insist that CRT doesn’t exist in Kansas schools despite documented proof. The Sentinel broke what became a national story about Shawnee Mission spending $400,000 on Deep Equity training. A teacher resigned from Shawnee Mission over the district’s critical race theory indoctrination.
Blue Valley showed a video to students in which teachers criticized Whites, Christians, and Republicans. A slide from a Blue Valley teacher training guide says people who are white, male, heterosexual, upper-middle-class, athletic, able-bodied, or neurotypical are in the Dominant Culture. People who do not fall under one of those identities are part of the subordinate culture.
Public school leaders in Kansas know that there are more high school students below grade level than are on track for college and career, and they won’t do anything about that sad situation on their own. Parents demand that state legislators intervene with student-focused reforms when they discover that they’ve been deceived by education leaders, and that is what is prompting hissy fits over the 1776 Project PAC’s involvement.