I'm not going to let go of this -- because it really pisses me off.
I've worked with the students of Prince William County for the past decade as an after-school tutor; thus, I've seen with my own eyes where our tax money is not being spent. How can we call our schools "World Class" when my kids* are being assigned to chilly overflow trailers and are walking around with water-damaged, crumbling textbooks (if they're lucky)? How can we call our schools "World Class" when, relative to surrounding counties, we are chronically underpaying our teachers? How can we call ourselves "World Class" when, again relative to surrounding counties, we are under-performing on state and national exams? Except for a few struggling pockets, we are not a poor county; on the contrary, we are one of the richest counties in the nation. Our median household income is over $90,000 -- so, where, exactly, are we spending the fruits of our affluence? What's on the school board's priority list?
Well, I've just discovered what my school board representative considers to be critically important: diversity training. Yep: The witch who threatened the teachers of Godwin Middle School last week has put a proposal on the April 20 agenda for a multiple-day diversity training program that may cost our school district more than $2 million to implement. Now, to be fair, the proposal in question also offers one substantially cheaper alternative. But I ask you: Why should we spend any money on such a program? Where is the evidence that diversity training will improve how our teachers deliver instruction to our students?
I'll tell you: There's no evidence at all. Actually, the evidence that does exist suggests that diversity programs usually make things worse. Consider, for example, the university campus. If diversity programs actually worked as intended, the land of diversity offices and hectoring freshman orientation programs on social justice would be a utopian exemplar of tolerance and brotherhood. In reality, what we've seen is intensified disharmony and unrest. No: Training people to be hyper-aware of race/ethnicity/sexuality/class/etc. makes members of the majority angry and defensive and members of our various minority groups self-righteous, bellicose, and emotionally fragile. This is not a recipe for success - or peace - for anyone involved.
If the events of recent days have taught me anything, it's that any program approved by Diane Raulston will almost certainly conform to the Marxist crap-show that is currently running our college system into the ground. I want no part of that. I want my tax dollars spent in the classroom, not on Raulston's pet boondoggle. If I didn't work on Wednesday nights, I'd be stating that in person at the April 20 meeting; instead, I'll be looking for some willing local to read my letter into the record.
(*Okay, they're not biologically mine, but I do feel responsible for them.)