Milwaukee Public Schools reportedly distributes ‘de-center Whiteness’ memo to teachers

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Milwaukee Public Schools is apparently working to “de-center” and “dismantle” Whiteness in the classroom.

The Young America’s Foundation published an exclusive report on a 33-page memo titled “Educational Community and District Climate” from the school district that is meant to explain the “best practices addressing discipline disproportionality through a positive educational community.” A significant approach in the memo discussed “anti-racism” with a note on “Understanding Whiteness.”

“Whiteness is everywhere around us. Educational practices have been rooted in Whiteness and coming from a lens of Whiteness for years. Educators should reflect on which elements of Whiteness they see in education, which they participate in, and which elements they can work to dismantle,” the memo read.

The memo also listed videos to help faculty “continue [their] journey along the development” of understanding Whiteness. Among them included a discussion by author Robin DiAngelo and a video titled “Whiteness: WTF?”

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Another section of the memo was devoted to achieving “equity” in the schools, defined as “an allocation of district resources, supports, and opportunities that is based on the needs of students and staff.”

“Achieving equity may require an unequal distribution of resources and services in order to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to a free and appropriate public education,” the memo explained. “The strengths of students, staff, families, and community members shall be illuminated to eliminate implicit and explicit deficit thinking.”

The memo also implored staff members to “create space to have brave conversations about race” to “understand that race plays a role throughout society and education.” It warned faculty to move beyond beliefs such as “I treat everyone equally” and “I don’t see race.”

A section on “anti-racism” also recommended definitions from author and critical race theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi.

Anti-racist chart

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It was unclear in the report how widely the report was distributed among 156 schools in the district. However, Milwaukee Public Schools includes K-12 education.

Fox News Digital reached out to Milwaukee Public Schools for a comment but has yet to receive a response. 

In 2021, a group of Minnesota principals and vice principals signed a letter pledging to push the goal of “de-centering Whiteness” and “dismantling the practices that reinforce White academic superiority.” The letter also suggested that practices such as standardized testing enforced “an Americanized version of a caste system in our schools.”

The phrase “de-center Whiteness” more recently appeared in a November Forbes article titled “3 Ways To Decenter Whiteness In Your Workplace.”

“Because White-centering is often left unexamined and unchecked, equity and justice have continued to evade organizations,” the piece read.

Milwaukee student

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Jasmyn Jordan, national chairwoman of Young Americans for Freedom, said, “What Milwaukee Public Schools are promoting is yet another example of a concentrated effort to eliminate a merit-based system and replace it with one that is focused on race. DEI is fundamentally against everything the left claims to stand for – it is the opposite of racial equality and inclusion.”

“As a student, I’ve seen DEI do more harm than good. Instead, the focus should be on achievement, character, and hard work.” 

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