Woke LA teachers are being told to challenge the concepts of 'merit' and 'individualism'

Woke LA teachers are being told to challenge the concepts of 'merit' and 'individualism'

Woke LA teachers are being told to challenge the concepts of ‘merit’ and ‘individualism’ because they are rooted in ‘whiteness’ as part of unconscious bias training

  • The Los Angeles Unified School District required teachers to take part in ‘implicit/unconscious bias training’ provided by CRT advocate Tyrone Howard
  • The training materials teaches staff they must be ‘antiracist’ in school 
  • Howard said they will achieve this by challenging ‘whiteness’ which exists in the concepts of ‘merit’ and ‘individualism’

Los Angeles teachers are being taught that they must challenge the concepts of ‘merit’ and ‘individualism’ because they are rooted in ‘whiteness’ as part of their training into unconscious bias.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has required all teachers and staff to complete ‘implicit/unconscious bias training’ provided by Tyrone Howard, a critical race theory (CRT) advocate and a professor of education at the University of California

The training materials, obtained by Fox News, teaches staff that they must be ‘antiracist’ – and they achieve this by challenging ‘whiteness’ in schools.

Howard argued during the training that ‘whiteness’ exists in the concepts of ‘merit’ and ‘individualism’.

‘This idea that white is the standard, white is the norm, white is our default has to be challenged,’ Howard said in the training video obtained by Fox News. 

The training materials, obtained by Fox News, teaches staff that they must be ‘antiracist’ – and they achieve this by challenging ‘whiteness’ in schools

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has required all teachers and staff to complete 'implicit/unconscious bias training' provided by Tyrone Howard (pictured), a critical race theory (CRT) advocate and a professor of education at the University of California

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has required all teachers and staff to complete ‘implicit/unconscious bias training’ provided by Tyrone Howard (pictured), a critical race theory (CRT) advocate and a professor of education at the University of California

The training handout said that ‘whiteness’ refers to the concept or idea that ‘white is normal and is the highest standard in the hierarchy’.

Meanwhile, merit, or meritocracy, ‘assumes that each person operates and achieves based on his or her own personal capacity’, the training handout said.

It added: ‘It incorporates the notion that the work put forth, the effort invested, explains why some groups and individuals do well and others do not. 

‘It does not consider historical factors or account for opportunities, advantages, and privileges to which some groups have access both historically and in the present.’

Howard said in the video: ‘The idea of meritocracy, I think we have to challenge that because we have to recognize that some groups have had much more opportunities, some groups have had far more advantages, and some groups have certain types of privileges that other groups have not had.’

Meanwhile individualism, according to the handout, ‘proposes that each person is responsible for his or her outcomes.

‘It is very much tied to merit, wherein group responsibility and accountability are not goals. Personal success and achievement are the goals. This belief operates from a survival-of-the-fittest approach that stresses singular pursuit and accomplishment.’

Ben Vallejo instructs students in a physical science class during summer school at Canoga Park High School

Ben Vallejo instructs students in a physical science class during summer school at Canoga Park High School

Howard argued that the ‘the notion of individualism runs counter’ to many LAUSD students’ ‘own cultural norms, which say “it’s not about me, it’s about we”.’

The teachers and LAUSD staff who went through the training were also required to ‘identify the specific ways the constructs of privilege, whiteness, merit and individualism may be present in your setting’.

They were also told to ‘determine the immediate changes you will personally make, small or large, to promote increased racial and cultural sensitivity, inclusiveness and awareness in your work.’ 

Critical Race Theory in school curriculums has become a point of controversy across the nation, as parents, politicians, students and educators debate the societal theory’s place in the classroom.

CRT supports the idea that racism is fundamentally embedded in American political and social institutions.

Conservatives have taken to using the phrase as a way to describe lessons on racism and ‘equity’ across all grade levels – and have criticized the theory for claiming that the U.S. is built on racial animus, with skin color determining the social, economic and political differences between people. 

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, in June 2021

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, in June 2021

CRITICAL RACE THEORY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States in recent years.

The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.

The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.

The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.

Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.

Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.

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Advocates, however, say its teaching is necessary to underline how deeply racism pervades society. Critics say it is divisive and paints everyone as a victim or oppressor. 

Joe Biden’s new ‘disinformation czar,’ Nina Jankowicz, dismissed concerns about Critical Race Theory in schools as ‘disinformation for profit’ in May – despite parents across the country being worried about the teaching of the philosophy in their children’s classrooms. 

‘I live in Virginia, and in Loudoun County that’s one of the areas where people have really honed in on this topic. But it’s no different than any of the other hot-button issues that have allowed disinformation to flourish,’ Jankowicz said during a talk at the City Club of Cleveland in 2021, ‘It’s weaponizing people’s emotion.’

Jankowicz was referring to controversy in Loudon County, Virginia, where parents and school administrators have clashed over the place of CRT in county’s curriculums. 

The Loudoun School Board has been mired in controversy as Parents have voiced their frustration with the state’s woke school board, saying they did not want their children to be taught CRT.

Multiple school board meetings made headlines after parents were filmed clashing with staff over the decision to teach it – and the board’s approval of a $6 million ‘equity-training’ program last year, as well as the approval of a study into whether it would be appropriate to give reparations to black people.

Parents voiced their frustration on the Fort Worth ISD school board in December after it emerged that a training course in critical race theory had been offered to teachers. 

The state legislature has made teaching critical race theory students to illegal. 

But a conservative watchdog group found a CRT training manual for teachers on the Fort Worth ISD school board, with some parents saying it was an effort to circumvent the law.

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Rachael Bunyan

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