Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 8
Diverging Demographic Trends
In Suburban Public Schools
Between 2006-07 and 2017-18, suburban public schools in the
country's 25 largest metropolitan areas lost 1.4 million white
students and added 1.3 million non-white students.
Two or more races
Suburban Public Schools
Are Now Majority-Nonwhite
In 2017-18, fewer than half of suburban public school students in
the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas were white, down from
60 percent in 2006-07.
Two or more races
Note: Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100.
Overwhelmingly White Suburban
Public Schools Disappear
In 2017-18, just 6 percent of suburban public school students in the
nation's 25 largest metros attended schools where at least 90 percent
of students were white, down from 18 percent in 2006-07.
Percent share of students who attended schools that were 90-100% white
SOURCE: EdWeek Research Center analysis of federal data, 2021
ture and policies took off.
Love, for example, decided to run for school
board. A social worker and trauma therapist with
a transgender nephew in Chandler schools, she'd
been hearing for years the same types of stories
that were now all over the local headlines.
" It was like, what the hell is going on with this district? " Love said. " I wanted to address the system that
was impacting my clients. "
The Black Mothers Forum and other groups also
began pushing Chandler Unified's leadership to accept that existing campaigns around kindness and
tolerance were insufficient.
In early 2018, the district issued a diversity and equity report. Across the board, racial disparities were
stark. Black and Hispanic children made up nearly
a third of the district's enrollment, but just a quarter of the students in honors and advanced classes.
Black and Hispanic students also accounted for just
11 percent of Chandler Unified's gifted population,
while receiving half of all suspensions meted out by
The school board adopted a resolution in support of racial equity. Adama Sallu was hired to be
the district's first equity director. Chandler Unified
contracted with an outside vendor called Corwin
Consulting to deliver a training program called
" Deep Equity " to all its staff members. Dozens
of additional strategies, from diversifying the
district's curricular materials to instituting a new
policy that all children be screened for gifted programs, were also listed on the district's " equity
The work started strong, said Sallu, who is Black
and was born in Sierra Leone.
" Your child might work for Intel and have colleagues in Israel or Costa Rica or South Africa, " she
would tell skeptical white parents. " They need the
skills to engage. "
" Deep Equity " draws the ire of Tucker Carlson
In early 2019, however, uneasiness with some of
Chandler Unified's new priorities intensified into a
steady drumbeat of resistance.
Moriarty had initially formed Purple for Parents to counter the #RedForEd movement, which
pushed for higher teacher pay in Arizona and other
states. The more he investigated the groups behind the movement, however, the more problems
he saw. One example: Moriarty came to believe
that the same social-emotional learning strategies
that had once helped his two children with autism
navigate everyday social situations were now being
used to train the general student population to embrace gay marriage.
He firmly supports racial equality, Moriarty insisted. But he vehemently disagrees with the approach Chandler Unified and other public-school
districts have embraced in pursuit of that goal.
" This is all just progressive, leftist, far-left-leaning,
social-justice engineering stuff, " he said.
Members of Purple for Parents began showing
up to board meetings to demand the district terminate its contract with Corwin, whose training
program they described as anti-white. The group's
members also decried what they described as attempts to silence conservative speech within
Chandler Unified schools.
In March 2019, for example, administrators at
Perry High told students to put away a flag honoring
President Donald Trump during a " Party in the USA " themed school spirit day, sparking protests.
At first, said Perry history teacher Jason Myers, a 19year classroom veteran, navigating the crosscurrents
was challenging, but manageable. A few months
into the Corwin training program, for example, he
found Chandler Unified administrators to be receptive when he raised concerns that some teachers
who poured themselves into their work felt they were
being unfairly labeled as racist.
" I always felt heard and recognized, " said Myers,
who is white.
In November 2019, however, Tucker Carlson got
involved. During an extended segment on his toprated cable-news show, the Fox News host railed
against Corwin's " Deep Equity " program. Millions
of viewers heard a monologue that began:
" If you don't have kids in school you might imagine
that the worst trends in American education are pretty
much confined to our most liberal cities. You know, in Seattle, math is racist. In New York City, gifted and talented
programs are oppressive. In Berkeley, God knows what
The left has abandoned education in favor of
naked political propaganda. You know that, but it's
comforting to think it's not happening near you or
Unfortunately, that's not true. It is happening probably
right down the street from where you are. Now an investigation by this show found a radical new curriculum in
schools across the country, from Arizona to Iowa. The
program is called 'Deep Equity.' "
Carlson, who is white, went on to say that Corwin's program forced teachers to embrace " racial
activism. " He presented images from the company's
training materials (which Chandler Unified officials
later said they didn't actually use), claiming the
program demanded participants accept that many
white people are defined by their " ignorance and
" Feel sick yet? " Carlson asked.
Almost immediately, Sallu said, her inbox began
blowing up with angry emails.
Casteel and the district's governing board backed
off their support for Corwin, saying they would develop their own equity training materials instead.
The hostilities soon went public.
" Our board meetings became insane, " Sallu said.
" Just absolutely insane. "
Experts see a 'slippery slope' from backlash in
public schools to other right-wing activism
The board's January 2020 meeting was held in a
low-slung building on one of Chandler's palm-treelined streets, right next to the local YMCA. Love and
her colleagues sat behind a raised wooden dais, looking out at a buzzing crowd of student activists and
local teachers and parents in purple T-shirts.
Chaos erupted almost immediately.
More than 80 people had signed up to deliver public testimony. The board's vice-chair sought to limit
the number of speakers. Dozens of pro-equity advocates responded by interrupting the meeting with
loud chants of " Let us speak. " Chandler police were
called in to maintain order.
Eventually, a compromise was reached. Speakers
were given one minute each. For well over an hour,
parents, teachers, students, and residents debated
You stand here and cry and rail against the concept of white privilege, all while knowing deep down
in your hearts that you wouldn't walk a week in my skin if you had the choice.
Black doctor from Chandler during a school board meeting in January 2020
8 | EDUCATION WEEK | March 31, 2021 | www.edweek.org
Education Week - March 31, 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 31, 2021
Education Week - March 31, 2021
Do Teachers Have to Disclose Their Vaccination Status? Experts Weigh In
What the Research Says
Suburban Public Schools Are Now Majority-Nonwhite
School Budgets: Why They’re Not As Bad As Predicted
Male Teachers Share Advice for Getting More Men Into the Profession
Feds’ First Survey of Pandemic Learning Finds Nearly Half of Students Taught Remotely
Miguel Cardona Talks Summer Learning, Mental Health, and State Tests
‘It Is OK to Grieve’
The Story of Pandemic Learning And Suicide Is Still Being Written
Don’t Assume a Return to School Is a Panacea
EdWeek Top School Jobs
We Are Part of Something Larger
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Education Week - March 31, 2021
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Briefly Stated
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 3
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Do Teachers Have to Disclose Their Vaccination Status? Experts Weigh In
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - What the Research Says
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Suburban Public Schools Are Now Majority-Nonwhite
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 7
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 8
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 9
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - School Budgets: Why They’re Not As Bad As Predicted
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 11
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Male Teachers Share Advice for Getting More Men Into the Profession
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 13
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Feds’ First Survey of Pandemic Learning Finds Nearly Half of Students Taught Remotely
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 15
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Miguel Cardona Talks Summer Learning, Mental Health, and State Tests
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 17
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - ‘It Is OK to Grieve’
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 19
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - The Story of Pandemic Learning And Suicide Is Still Being Written
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - Don’t Assume a Return to School Is a Panacea
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - 22
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - EdWeek Top School Jobs
Education Week - March 31, 2021 - We Are Part of Something Larger
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