A public high school in Minnesota implemented a required, race-based English course aimed at eradicating “white privilege,” but it wasn’t billed that way to students or parents, according to a public policy organization.
“Pre-AP English 10 constitutes an abuse of parents’ trust, taxpayers’ money and — most importantly — vulnerable children,” Katherine Kersten, a senior policy fellow for the Center of the American Experiment, told Fox News. “Edina citizens should hold district leaders accountable for substituting political indoctrination for a real education.”
The Minnesota-based think tank started researching Edina public schools after they heard students, parents, and teachers in Edina complaining about the aftermath of the 2016 election, when 80 staff members — most teachers — co-signed an editorial in the student newspaper bashing President-elect Donald Trump and aligning themselves with the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.
“Many of you [students] have made clear … that right now, you don’t feel physically safe,” the article read. “Know that we will do all that we can … to fight for you,” and that “we will teach rebellion against a broken world.”
Kersten discovered a required 10th grade English course adopted in 2013 by Edina, focused on colonization, immigration, and social constructions of race, class, and gender. Kersten published a broader finding in a cover story titled: “Whose Values? Educational excellence threatened by ideology in Edina schools.”
Students, especially young, white males, said they constantly were humiliated.
One of the boys wrote on the “Rate My Professor” website that the class should be renamed, “Why White Males Are Bad, and How Oppressive They Are.”
Edina High School, located in an affluent suburb outside the Twin Cities, started experiencing lower test results and their ranking in the state started dropping since the race-based policies were implemented. For example, going from 5th to 29th in reading proficiency between 2014 and 2017.
For the English class, EHS claimed student assignments would be “carefully chosen” for “their rigor” because “we’re aiming for the top.”
While the school sold the course in one way, English teacher Jackie Roehl, one of the principal designers of the course, shared a more candid version in a book written for teachers called: “More Courageous Conversations About Race.”
“Understanding Critical race theory was a significant reason behind our school taking another step on our equity journey — incorporating a study of Critical race theory into our sophomore English classes,” Roehl wrote. “English teachers felt that our district’s mission to give all learners the ‘ethical values necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing, culturally diverse, global society’ could not be fully met without explicit discussions of race, racism, and Whiteness.”