A large number of school principals in Minnesota have formed a coalition pledging to “de-center Whiteness” in education.
The 162 principals call themselves the “Good Trouble Principals,” a nod to the late civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis, and say they are “a loose collection of local principals bound together by a commitment to changing our nation’s future by engaging in better, more equitable education practices.”
“John Lewis said: ‘Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble,’” the pledge says, according to Fox News. “The undersigned principals declare publicly today that we are making some noise and getting in good trouble.”
The group of principals plans to “de-center Whiteness” by “dismantling the practices that reinforce White academic superiority.”
The group’s website discusses how it plans to carry out its goal of “de-centering Whiteness” from the classroom:
(1) De-centering Whiteness. Understanding that traditional organized whiteness ensures domination through forms like PTAs and Unions. We purposefully call out and lift up historically non-represented voices of color in our spaces to hold weight and power.
(2) Dismantling practices that reinforce White academic superiority like bias in testing and the labeling, tracking and clustering that reflect an Americanized version of a caste system in our schools.
(3) Reconstructing “school” upon our full in-person returns where business-as-usual, like schedules and staffing, are open to drastic changes. and engaging in that preparatory work now.
(4) Speaking truth to power. Where our commitment to holding ourselves and those who serve under us accountable to this work is just as importantly extended to those who serve over us.
“We declare that we are not leaving white children behind by lifting Black, Brown and Indigenous children up,” according to the group. “But that we, not only have the collective capacity to hold all of our children up and into the light, but our White children have been done a great disservice by sustaining white-centered schools in America over all these years.”
According to Mauri Melander Friestleben, principal of the Lucy Craft Laney Community School and one of the members of the group, one of the goals of the group is “increasing varieties of student and school evaluations that go beyond the annual standardized testing process.”
“De-centering that means understanding that history in order to identify any present indicators that may be operating in that same light,” Friestleben reportedly told Fox News.
Ironically, the National Education Association (NEA), one of America’s largest teacher’s unions, which is, itself, a target for the “Good Trouble Principals,” has pushed the idea that standardized testing is “racist” – a stance that is becoming more popular among the political Left.
“African-Americans, especially males, are disproportionately placed or misplaced in special education, frequently based on test results. In effect, the use of high-stakes testing perpetuates racial inequality through the emotional and psychological power of the tests over the test takers,” the NEA claimed in a March article.
“And although most test makers screen test items for obvious bias, their efforts often do not detect underlying bias in the test’s form or content,” the article continued. “These biases have long-ranging and damaging consequences not only for students, their families but also the economic well-being of their communities.”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo (laptop) “Good Trouble Principals” by Good Trouble Principals.