Is Project READY Diversity Training in WCPSS Focused On Race

Recently, the News and Observer covered a series of diversity training sessions being conducted in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) by a group called Project READY.

The article was entitled, “Teachers learn they should have uncomfortable conversations about race with students.”

The article cites Sandra Hughes-Hassell, director of Project READY.  Hughes-Hassell believes that English teachers should use All-American Boys”, a book inspired by Black Lives Matter, when discussing race-related issues. Hughes-Hassell suggests this book could be used in addition to or instead of the time-tested classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Project READY seems to have a focus on the latest fad in education, “Social Emotional Learning” or SEL — which amounts to invasive and subjective pseudo-psychology being performed on school children.

Project Ready is working in a partnership with the School of Information and Library Science at the UNC at Chapel Hill, the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University, and Wake County (NC) Public Schools (WCPSS).

Project READY is being funded by a 3-year federal grant from Institute for Museum and Library Services which totals $569,583. That amount could fund 11 classroom teachers at an average salary rate of $50,000 each.

The N&O article mentioned that there were 30 schools involved.  American Lens contacted Project READY about the list of 30 schools.

American Lens also included a question about the curriculum or materials being used for this training. Specifically, we asked if materials from the partisan and far left Southern Poverty Law Center’s education group, Teaching Tolerance, were being used.

We asked this question after seeing a tweet from the group indicating that they were drawing their inspiration from this noted radical and controversial group:

A question was tweeted to the group about their tweet, but no response has been received.

Social Justice Standards - Teaching Tolerance - SPLCTeaching Tolerance’s materials are politically slanted and have an incredible amount of progressive ideological bias in them.

Teaching Tolerance purpose appears to be trying to get to kids in schools as early as possible to plant seeds of political correctness. In other words, it’s social engineering of group think using the public school classrooms.

RELATED:  Social Justice Standards Launched by SPLCs Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance is an organization who has based their new social justice standards off work by a known communist and who has regularly featured domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, as a role model in education.

Project READY isn’t Ready to talk

Project READY’s Casey Rawson declined to answer our questions and told us that all inquiries on the project were to be directed to WCPSS.  American Lens then sent redirected our request to WCPSS.

WCPSS Communications Director, Tim Simmons responded to our inquiry about Teaching Tolerance materials as follows:

“As mentioned earlier, UNC-CH secured the grant and offered the training to WCPSS staff. The purpose of the training was to better equip staff on how to address questions about race that occur in schools — either questions asked directly of them or questions other staff might have.

This is not a curriculum for staff to teach students. I cannot speak for the goals of Project READY, but if their goal is to offer a curriculum as stated in the N&O, this training session did not provide that. I also cannot speak for the N&O, but assume this is why the paper referred to Project READY plans to “eventually offer a curriculum.” They don’t have one now.

The N&O story is correct where it states “Project READY is helping teachers learn to be more culturally competent about their diverse student populations.”

The article goes on to state: “It will also provide classroom materials that are culturally relevant.” The key word there is “will.” That material is online and owned by UNC-CH as the agency that secured the grant. I appreciate from your earlier comment that they have not provided that information, but you are asking at the right place as we do not have it to release.”

Simmons also provided us with the following list of participating schools. The half of them are elementary schools serving K-5 students.

Apex Elementary
Athens Drive HS
East Garner Elementary
Fox Road Elementary
Fuquay-Varina HS
Fuquay-Varina MS
Lincoln Heights Elementary
Richland Creek Elementary
Martin MS
Wake Forest HS
Conn Elementary
Garner HS
Heritage HS
Heritage MS
Millbrook HS
Rolesville HS
Mills Park MS
Pine Hollow MS
Rand Road Elementary
Willow Springs Elementary
Combs Elementary
Alston Ridge Elementary
Durant Road MS
Olds Elementary
Harris Creek Elementary
Mount Vernon MS
River Bend Elementary
Rolesville MS
Vance Elementary
Wilburn Elementary

This article first appeared at American Lens News on August 18, 2017.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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