WA’s new standards for teacher indoctrination

WA’s new standards for teacher indoctrination

Cultural Competency Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Not Academic Excellence

*By Joy Gjersvold

If it seems as though the focus of public education in Washington has shifted away from academic excellence, you aren’t imagining things. As a former public education teacher who left the profession in 2004, I have often wondered how we got so far off track. While I observed slight changes–a shift in focus even 20 years ago–I couldn’t name it. I was a full-time mom and military spouse. While I voted and paid enough attention to politics to know what I did and didn’t support, I wasn’t as involved in my civic duties, but that has changed.

To understand how we got here, it’s important to know the crisis in public education in Washington state didn’t happen overnight nor is it the result of the COVID era and that inexcusable disruption in the education of our children. While there are many things that play a part in the decline of the education standards in our state, I want to focus on cultural competency legislation (also known as Diversity Equity Inclusion, or DEI). The original cultural competency standards were in place in 2009 and are now considered to be outdated. They were replaced by the Cultural Competency Diversity Equity and Inclusion (CCDEI) standards established with passage of ESSB 5044. Passed in April 2021, this legislation ensures that “every educator in our state is prepared, trained, and equipped with the knowledge, tools, and skills necessary to create stronger, more supportive student-centered learning environments.” It is the job of the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) to create and adopt the standards by which this competency will be measured so that it may ensure that all teachers in our state focus on CCDEI–not on standards of excellence in academics.

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In March, the PESB adopted their new standards in which they outline their four areas of focus, defining those four areas, and then outline how they intend to meet these goals. What is lacking from their newly minted standards is the presence of any focus on academic preparation or academic excellence, and while they mention family and community involvement, what parents need to understand is that other legislation exists in our state that prohibits teachers from involving parents in many aspects of their child’s education. And this legislation has given way to the creation of school board policies that encourage teachers, staff, and administrators to keep secrets from parents. The PESB doesn’t hide their intentions and states plainly that CCDEI educator standards are a “major component of advancing equity in education.” The PESB is not concerned about or focused on changing the current abysmal academic scores in our state by ensuring that teachers are fully trained in their subject matter or areas of expertise which then ensures quality academic preparation of students. Their focus is advancing equity. Period. So, the next question we need to be asking is whose standards are they considering for CCDEI? It’s certainly not parents or the family. It’s what the PESB arbitrarily determines valuable in the teaching of our children.

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So, how do we as citizens change the current landscape?

First, make a way to pull your children from public education. They are not being educated. They are being indoctrinated. Your children deserve a real education. It’s possible for anyone, but you must make it a priority. There are so many homeschool resources and we can help you get connected.

Second, join Conservative Ladies of Washington and get involved with our Legislative Action Team, attend our workshops, and get some skin in the game.

Finally, pay close attention to the legislative races in your district for 2024. Seek out conservative candidates who are rooted in the Constitution and help on their campaigns. Meet those candidates and share your concerns and ask them how they intend to undo the bad legislation that keeps public education from being a success. CLW endorsements are a great way to find those candidates.

Washington state teachers are the 4th highest paid teachers in the nation. We spend over $18,000 per student per year yet only 50.7% are meeting standards in English Language Arts, only 39% in Math, and 42.9% in Science. There is no excuse for this failure. It’s time for We the People to take our public education system back.

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