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Wisconsin teacher training session says parents ‘not entitled to know their kids’ identities’

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Wisconsin parents are being described by their school district as “not entitled to know” if their children are changing identities because that is “knowledge that must be earned” according to leaked training documents.

Staff development sessions for teachers in the Eau Claire Area School District in central Wisconsin “focused on safe spaces, gender identity, microaggressions, and oppression” reported the website Defendinged.org.

One of the slides in the training session reads, “Remember, parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned. Teachers are often straddling this complex situation. In ECASD, our priority is supporting the student.”

The group Parents Defending Education obtained “additional material from concerned community members that the school district used in training teachers.” The training video host praised states that mandate schools teach LGBTQ in classrooms beginning in kindergarten, and condemned the states that don’t.

One of the trainers said parents who disagree with their kids about gender identity issues are guilty of “abuse.” The trainer said, “we understand and acknowledge that teachers are often put in terrible positions caught between parents and their students. But much like we wouldn’t act as stand-ins for abuse in other circumstances, we cannot let parents’ rejection of their children guide teachers’ reactions and actions and advocacy for our students.”

The trainers also encouraged the teachers to be activists: “to vote, to demonstrate, to protest.” National Review notes “the fight over teacher training in Eau Claire is the latest skirmish in the national debate over the role of schools in promoting activism, and teaching ‘woke’ concepts about race, gender, and sex.”

In response to the instruction, three local school board candidates, Nicole Everson, Corey Cronrath, and Melissa Winter, issued a joint statement, saying they were “appalled” and “dismayed that current school district leadership would pressure teachers into breaking a social contract that we all know and understand – that parents and guardians hold primary responsibility for the welfare and care of their children.”

In a statement to Empower Wisconsin, superintendent Michael Johnson offered no such apology, and said the district “prides itself on being a school district that makes all students feel welcome and safe in our schools.”

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1 Comment

  1. Ralph Lawrence

    March 18, 2022 at 8:41 am

    How dare a teacher(s) or superintendent take over the duty of determining that a student(child) must be trained in activism and gender responsibility. A student does not belong to a school board nor is “trained” by a teacher whose personal dynamic is taught in a classroom.

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education

Harvard Reinstates Standardized Testing Requirement for Admissions

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Harvard University announcement it will reverse its test-optional policy and reinstate standardized testing as a requirement for admission. The move has stirred a contentious debate within the academic community. Effective for applicants seeking entry in the fall of 2025, Harvard College will mandate the submission of either SAT or ACT scores, with limited exceptions for circumstances hindering access to these exams.

Hoekstra contends that standardized tests provide crucial predictive insights into a student’s potential for success in higher education and beyond. By reinstating the testing requirement, Harvard seeks to gather more comprehensive data, particularly beneficial for identifying talent across diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Proponents of the move, like Harvard Kennedy School’s political economy professor David J. Deming, emphasize the universality of standardized tests, arguing that they offer a level playing field for all applicants. Deming underscores the accessibility of these tests compared to other metrics like personal essays, which may favor privileged students with greater resources.

However, the decision has sparked criticism from those who argue that standardized tests perpetuate inequities in admissions. Critics point to studies, such as those conducted by Harvard economists Raj Chetty and others, which highlight disparities in access to advanced courses and extracurricular opportunities among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The controversy surrounding Harvard’s policy shift reflects broader concerns within higher education about equity, diversity, and inclusion. While standardized testing may offer a standardized measure of academic aptitude, it also raises questions about its ability to accurately assess a student’s potential in light of systemic educational disparities.

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