EDINA, Minn.- The Center for the American Experiment produced a report written by Katherine Kersten detailing a required English class introduced at Edina public schools which took aim at reducing ‘white privilege.’ The Center says shady consulting group may be to blame.
On the class; it is the only English class option for high school sophomores, giving no advanced placement option or remedial course. The course has been packaged as Pre-AP English 10.
The syllabus tries to reconcile the elimination of an advanced class by saying the goal is, “to ensure that all students get the high-quality curriculum and instruction they need to be successful students at Edina High School, and to better prepare them for their college and career paths to follow.”
However, an essay by the creator of the program Jackie Roehl, indicates that the real intent of the program was to address “the reality was that we suffered a significant race-based achievement gap and racial predictability in enrollment in our AP classes.”
The CAE report indicates that many of Roehl’s beliefs come from the playbook of the Pacific Educational Group (PEG). The group has played a visible role in other Minnesota schools, clearly illustrated in a recent Alpha News article about Osseo’s messy breakup with PEG.
Reporting by Education Action Group (EAG) in 2015, indicates that St. Paul schools have spent more than $3 million in consulting fees related to PEG.
Aaron Brenner, a former St. Paul teacher, cited that the methods introduced by PEG was a primary reason for the decreasing discipline and achievement levels of African American students within the St. Paul school district.
“White privilege and white people biasses are hampering black students from learning is PEG in a nutshell,” Brenner said in an interview on Fox News describing modus operandi of PEG.
Back to Edina. As Roehl touts that “PEG’s Beyond Diversity Workshops, equity team seminars, and CARE trainings gave my colleagues and me a framework to examine the individual and systemic practices at Edina High School that limit [minority] student achievement,” it has become clear that the voice of parents in this discussion have become mitigated.
“Fortunately, the English teachers can courageously explain to parents and students why White students also need help exploring issues of race and racism because their own White racial identity is invisible to many, and they reduce racism to something that happened in the past to other people,” Roehl explains, “because of my PEG training I was able to stay centered on the compass and explain the beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions behind the English curriculum.”
In her conclusion Kersten writes, “Pre-AP English 10 was touted as intended to increase “equity,” and to ensure that more black and Hispanic students are academically prepared for AP courses. In fact, rigor has evaporated, and all students are suffering as a result.”