Obama-era law used to fund woke education policies locally
June 16, 2022
The successor to No Child Left Behind, the Every Student Succeeds Act is being used to fund race-based education content under the guise of local control.
ESSA was passed in 2015 under the Obama administration promising standards-based education reform.
In reality, the Act is being used to get rid of standards and replace them with ideas such as race-based grading and content providers, such as Newsela, which AIM has exposed before as being a progressive content provider.
ESSA has become a $17 billion annual outlay that supports educational “enhancement” by:
- Advancing “equity by upholding critical protections for America’s disadvantaged and high-need students,” according to the U.S. Department of Education
- Requiring annual statewide assessments that measure students’ progress based on standards created locally, including race-based grading and CRT where states allow, according to the U.S. Department of Education
- Helping to support and grow “local innovations”—including evidence-based and place-based interventions (race-based grading and CRT) developed by local leaders and educators. – , according to the U.S. Department of Education
- Allowimg educators to change standards for lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time to allow for race, gender, place, according to the U.S. Department of Education
- Implement social–emotional learning, according to The National Association of School Psychologists
The act has a pool of funds in the form of grants that allow underperforming schools to apply to the federal government for money for advanced innovations that will allow underperforming schools to improve performance, even if it means lowering the bar to make schools just appear to improve.
Unfortunately, technological solutions often include content that provides race-based education and grading, such as the content in Newsela, as demonstrated in this grant application at Sam Houston Collegiate Preparatory, in Texas, and this other ESSA application at the Harmony School of Excellence.
In fact, Newsela, which just raised $100 million from private investors, has a nine page PDF booklet that shows school districts how to qualify for both ESSA and Covid relief funds, to pay for their progressive content.
Looking back in hindsight it’s quite possible that the Obama administration intentionally passed the ESSA law in order to promote “equity” which is a polite way of saying race-based education.
All4ED, a K Street advocacy group that emphasizes race-based equity in education, which is staffed by the former Obama administration officials who wrote and passed ESSA, works now in helping schools implement race and gender grading policies.
Top executives include Deborah S. Delisle, president and CEO, who served as U.S. assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education from 2012 to 2015 and their director of policy Anne Hyslop, who supported the drafting of ESSA.
“At All4Ed, we work intentionally to reduce barriers and support communities that historically have been denied an excellent education based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, and systemic injustice,” says the All4Ed website.
Certainly conservatives should fight at a local level to prevent race-based education in the United States, however it’s also possible to fight the diminution of education standards at the federal level by asking members of Congress in both the House and the Senate to amend ESSA to prevent Federal funds from being used for race-based and gender-based education.