Looking Critically at DEI Curricula in K-12 Education10-02-2022
The Editors of the Journal of Free Black thought have published an abridged version of their report on “Six Unsettling Features of DEI in K-12.” It is hardly a demonization of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion syllabi. But the Journal’s report does raise serious questions about the potential harms associated with some but certainly not all DEI practices. They write:
The purpose of this article and its associated downloadable Powerpoint is to make available, for parents, educators, and all who care about K-12 education, information about some of the potentially harmful ideas and practices around race that have become increasingly prevalent in K-12 education. For convenience, we call these new ideas and practices “DEI,” that is, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Other terms you may have seen for roughly the same phenomenon include “Critical Race Theory (CRT),” “(critical) social justice,” “diversity work,” and “antiracism.”
In the following six sections, we explore six unsettling features of DEI as it manifests in K-12. A final coda offers some alternatives to traditional DEI that are worth exploring. We hope that you find this post to be a useful resource. You may click on a section number to jump to that section:...
None of this is to say that DEI is intended to be harmful. Nor is it to say that every school that adopts a DEI program is guaranteed to do harm to students. It is merely to say that some features of DEI have the potential to do harm. We offer the following essay and associated Powerpoint in an effort to help parents and other concerned parties identify worrying DEI ideas and practices and discuss them fruitfully with school administrators, teachers, and others charged with their children’s education.