The NY Post recently reported that NYC schools were making the addition of Common Core aligned “anti-bias” social studies curriculum from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s offshoot, Teaching Tolerance.
The NY Post cited quotes from Chancellor Carmen Farina on the topic. These quotes seem to have come from a letter sent to employees regarding the use of these materials. This blog has obtained a copy of that letter, which was sent by email to employees on July 14th.
While not naming the men outright, Farina’s letter refers to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. There is also mention of Texas in Farina’s letter, where on July 7th, police officers were targeted by a sniper, injuring nine of them and killing five others.
Farina appears to use these events and deaths as a platform for “going beyond talking” and “support informed action” by implementing the Teaching Tolerance social studies curriculum:
“However, as educators we must go beyond talking. To support informed action, the Department of Education will implement a new social studies curriculum, which includes robust lessons integrating themes of tolerance, civil rights, and equity. Perspectives for a Diverse America, a literacy-based curriculum developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, is another useful resource.”
The letter encourages educators to create “safe spaces” to have conversations with students.
Read Farina’s Letter:
The point, according to Farina’s letter to is ‘open up communications’ and ‘foster empathy’, however, that is not the point of Teaching Tolerance’s materials.
The end goal of the Teaching Tolerance ‘Common Core aligned anti-bias lessons’ is the creation of social justice activists; starting in pre-k with kids as young as 4 and 5 years old.
This activism goal is implied by Teaching Tolerance’s own materials and by its mission statement.
Read more about Teaching Tolerance, including my 5 part series: Social Issues Activism Is Now “Common Core Aligned”.