The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) announced that its DEI Committee, currently chaired by Leonard Lockhart of the Windsor Board of Education, decided to meet in person today, prior to CABE’s Summer Leadership Conference. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how CABE can address DEI issues impacting CT public schools.
CABE will likely draw on its "Equity Toolkit" to guide educators on dealing with these perceived DEI issues. But what's in the toolkit? And what does it teach BOEs about equity?
The critical race theory-inspired toolkit starts by declaring "where equity is the mindset, equality is the result."
Then it goes on to say that Connecticut has work to do, blaming America's decline in educational performance on "the persistence of disparities" in both learning opportunities and academic outcomes, as if those are the only variables in the equation.
CABE tells you that there are no "quick fixes" to inequities that have been part of our country's foundation, culture and educational systems for a long time. But, nonetheless, you must take a hard look at yourself through an "equity lens" to evaluate your own cultural competency, and then engage your community to join together with other social justice warriors in pursuing the equity mission.
The mission of CABE's Committee on Diversity is to embrace diversity and commit to equity for each child. That means analyzing and making recommendations to "overcome barriers" to attract a diverse workforce, and to attract a diverse BOE committed to the equity vision.
In order to "reach equity", CABE alleges that students need to be able to "see themselves" in the curriculum and instructional materials. Therefore, educators must know the background of each student. Because equity can only exist if you know everything about a student's race, ethnicity, gender, economic status and zip code.
The toolkit offers 6 easy steps to get started with equity, starting with an equity audit of yourself and your BOE and your school community.
Then you have to apply the "equity lens" to provide a common vocabulary for producing policies, programs and practices that result in more "equitable" outcomes.
In order to better pursue "equity" in education, the toolkit says you need to know a lot about each student so you can personalize learning. The more you know about the students, the better. This includes what their lives are like outside of school, how they learn outside of school, what motivates and interests them, what challenges they and their families face, and what unmet needs a student may have that could impact learning.
Of course that justifies surveying students with some awfully personal questions, doesn't it? And storing and tracking a lot of data about them, too.
The toolkit even includes a handy guide for engaging your whole community in an "authentic, meaningful conversation about equity" through a three-hour session led by your newly equity-oriented BOE.
Because that's what people need as far as CABE is concerned. More equity.