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A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was submitted to Greenwich Schools to obtain further information about the purchase of the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and about the engagement of a consultant that led the group of approximately 50 Greenwich administrators in White Fragility training.
In case you are not familiar with the book, the review reads: “Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue."
Turns out that the books were purchased from Amazon by an unnamed Greenwich administrator who did not file for a reimbursement. The paperback lists for $8.15 on Amazon — so the anonymous donor likely spent at least $407.50 to purchase antiracist books. Unless they opted for the $24.99 hardback version, in which case it would have set the donor back $1,249.50.
The consulting agreement between CREC Resources and Deputy Superintendent Ann Carabillo was to “provide up to 11 hours of technical assistance, which will include book club facilitation and training. All virtual facilitation and training.” The commencement date was September 29, 2020. An invoice for $2,750 (which equates to $250/hour) was issued to Carabillo on November 13, 2020, with a handwritten note indicating the item was to be covered by state / federal grant money as a Title II expense.
Connecticut’s Title II guidance states that school districts can use Title II Part A funds to cover a wide range of strategies and activities to support the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals and other school staff.
Does this imply the Greenwich Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent believed that training administrators in the tenets of critical race theory (CRT) would make administrators more effective and/or higher quality? How does this reconcile with the Superintendent’s repeated comments that she does not promote CRT concepts? Don’t you think parents would appreciate it if the Superintendent was more honest about this issue? After all, if antiracist training was such a good thing, why not boast about it? Why all the secrecy?
P.S. Did you know that Connecticut ranked #46 on Heritage Foundation’s Education Freedom Report Card? It ranked #36 for Transparency since "Connecticut lawmakers have not adopted proposals that reject the prejudice caused by the application of critical race theory in schools." And it ranks last in the nation for return on investment in education spending.