New York City’s public school educators have reportedly been asked to particularly focus on black children in a controversial “implicit bias” training, according to reports.
A consultant hired by the NYC Department of Education reportedly told administrators at a workshop that “racial equity” meant favoring black children regardless of their socio-economic status, the New York Post reported.
“If I had a poor white male student and I had a middle-class black boy, I would actually put my equitable strategies and interventions into that middle-class black boy because, over the course of his life, he will have less access and less opportunities than that poor white boy,” the consultant, Darnisa Amante, reportedly said at the session, according to New York Post.
“That’s what racial equity is,” she said.
Amante is a lecturer at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and is the CEO of Disruptive Equity Education Project, or DEEP, a group aimed at “dismantling systemic oppression and racism.”
President of the NYC Parents Union, Mona Davids, who was present at the session, was appalled at the statement.
Davids, who is black, said: “It’s completely absurd — they want to treat black students as victims and punish white students. That defeats the purpose of what bias awareness training should be.”
DOE spokesperson Will Mantell did not respond to questions whether Chancellor Richard Carranza also supports Amante on her statement.
“Anti-bias and equity trainings are about creating high expectations and improving outcomes for all of our students,” Mantell said in a statement. “These trainings are used across the country because they help kids, and out-of-context quotes and anonymous allegations just distract from this important work.”
Reports state that the DOE’s anti-bias training program has not gone well with certain teachers, parents and administrators who have contended that certain parts of the program are divisive. The DOE’s anti-bias training is a $23 million mandatory program for all DOE employees.
A middle-school teacher in Manhattan said that the DOE training “is a catalyst for hate and division.”
“I have colleagues who won’t participate during ‘Courageous Conversations’ (the DOE protocol for implicit-bias workshops) because they don’t feel safe,” she said, adding that she cringes at phrases like “replacement thinking” and the disdain for “whiteness” during the training.