2024 Election

Milwaukee Public Schools Issues ‘best practices’ On How to ‘dismantle whiteness’ in Classrooms

Milwaukee Public Schools allegedly issued a memo to staff instructing them to “decenter whiteness” in the classroom. The memo states that “whiteness is everywhere around us.”

The memo was published by Milwaukee Public Schools in July 2023 with the intention of creating “Best practices addressing discipline disproportionality through a positive educational community.”

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“In efforts to create an educational community and positive district climate, Milwaukee Public Schools is providing four approaches that all schools are encouraged to utilize,” the memo called Educational Community and District Climate begins. The memo was publicized by Young America’s Foundation on Friday.

“Whiteness is everywhere around us,” the memo reads. “Educational practices have been rooted in Whiteness and coming from a lens of Whiteness for years. Educators should reflect on which elements of Whiteness they see in education, which they participate in, and which elements they can work to dismantle.

“Showing up for Racial Justice created list of elements of Whiteness that can be used for reflection. Oftentimes policies, practices, systems etc coming from the sol lens of Whiteness are taken as the norm instead of engaging in those multiple perspectives.

“How is your world view and practices within education centered in Whiteness? What racists beliefs have you internalized? What are specific step we can take to de-center Whiteness in our educational practices?”

The memo suggests a video “resource” called “Whiteness: WTF?” as well as other videos and books that aim to help staff to continue their “journey along the development” of understanding whiteness.

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“Achieving equity may require an unequal distribution of resources and services in order to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to a free and appropriate public education,” the memo explained. “The strengths of students, staff, families, and community members shall be illuminated to eliminate implicit and explicit deficit thinking.”

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The memo urged personnel to “create space to have brave conversations about race” and to “understand that race plays a role throughout society and education.”

It states that faculty needs to move past the notions of “I treat everyone equally” and “I don’t see race.”

A section on “anti-racism” also recommended definitions from author and critical race theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi.

The extent of the distribution of this 33-page memo remains uncertain; however, specific sections appear to be directed towards educators at the middle and high school levels.

 

 

 

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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