February is Black History Month, and the push to inject Black Lives Matter curriculum into America’s K-12 schools is in high gear. In the fight for racial justice, the slogan “black lives matter” is a reasonable mantra that focusses on equality; creating a fair and inclusive society is indeed a very worthy goal.
But “Black Lives Matter” the activist organization with a registered political action committee is a different matter entirely. And it’s Black Lives Matter the political organization that is pushing an agenda-driven curriculum into America’s K-12 schools, an agenda that at times is not only racially polarizing, but one that calls for defunding police; disrupting the nuclear family; and replacing individualism and capitalism with an irresponsible brand of socialist globalism.
A closer look at the document “Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action Starter Kit” shows just how politically driven their curriculum is. “In this era of mass incarceration, there is a school-to-prison-pipeline system that is more invested in locking up youth than unlocking their minds,” the introduction states. “That system uses harsh discipline policies that push Black students out of schools at disproportionate rates; denies students the right to learn about their own cultures and whitewashes the curriculum to exclude many of the struggles and contributions of Black people and other people of color; and is pushing out Black teachers from the schools in cities around the country.”
It’s this very irresponsible rhetoric that causes many educators to regard BLM more as a propaganda outfit than a genuine organization seeking to educate young people (here is a resource to push back against this rhetoric). To state that our school system “is more invested in locking up youth than unlocking their minds” is not only terribly irresponsible and untrue, but extremely demoralizing to the millions of hard-working educators around the country who have dedicated their lives to teaching children.
Likewise, the notion that black teachers are being “pushed out” from schools is ridiculous; in my 25 years as a teacher, I’ve witnessed a steady, collaborative effort to recruit teachers of color into America’s classrooms, not push them out. And yet BLM feels the need to use this propagandistic, inflammatory language, when simply calling for cooperation is all that is needed.
The so-called “demands” BLM is pushing for is also concerning. One demand is to end “Black Teacher Pushouts.” According to BLM, “Racist policies in schools and biased skills exams eliminate Black and Brown teaching candidates.” The National Center for Education Statistics show that Black teachers make up about 8 percent of America’s teaching force, while being 13 percent of the population. And although this is slightly disproportionate, the disparity has more to do with career interest than it does with so-called “biased skills exams.” Again, over the past 20 years, America’s educational system — at both the university and K-12 level — have done all they could to recruit, train, and retain teachers of color….[ ]