Communicating with School Leadership
Parents, thank you for having the courage to advocate for your children. Communicating with school…
A number of organizations have created toolkits and resources to help parents and educators push back against alarming curriculum and political advocacy in K-12 schools. Here are a few:
Website: FAIR – Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (fairforall.org)
Minnesota chapters: FAIR Twin Cities & FAIR Southern Minnesota
FAIR, founded in 2021, describes itself as a “nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing civil rights and liberties for all Americans, and promoting a common culture based on fairness, understanding and humanity.” New York parent Byon Bartning founded FAIR after his young daughter encountered Neo-racist instruction at a private school in New York City. Dividing by Race Comes to Grade School – WSJ
FAIR’s board of advisors includes illustrious writers, scholars and public figures from the center-left to center-right of the political spectrum. Board of Advisors – FAIR (fairforall.org) The organization offers guidance to parents and educators; supports and advocates for “whistleblowers;” develops “pro-human” curriculum and learning standards; connects advocates across the country; and is establishing a national network of attorneys who will support FAIR’s mission.
Here are its learning standards, which parents can propose to school boards as an alternative to “equity” ideology: fair-pro-human-learning-standards.pdf (fairforall.org)
FAIR’s Advocacy Toolkit is available to individuals who register for membership on the FAIR web site. FAIR at School – FAIR (fairforall.org)
Its contents include “Clues Your School is Going Neo-Racist:” “Taking Action Through Conversations, Social Media and the Law;” “Short and Long-Term Strategies;” “Step-By-Step Survival Guides” for parents and teachers; and “What to Expect at a School Board Meeting.”
Two sections are particularly insightful and valuable: “How to Talk to a Critical Theorist,” which explains “the moral failure at the heart of Critical Race Theory,” and “How to Build a Power Base and Get the Attention of a Politician.” The toolkit also includes a detailed recommended reading list.
FAIR is designing “diversity, equity and inclusion” training that aligns with “pro-human values” for schools, corporations and non-profits.
This detailed guide briefly summarizes the meaning of many “equity”-related terms and concepts, and offers punchy, follow-up resources for each. Examples:
The action guide also includes a useful “cheat sheet” that exposes the real meaning of ideological terms like “diversity,” “decolonization,” “hate speech” and “inclusion:” Cheat-Sheet.png (3300×5100) (oregonscholars.org)
In addition, it provides information for parents and citizens about how to take action at the local, state and federal levels.
Topics include how to speak to a school board, run for school board, and plan to discipline teachers who violate school policies. Also addressed are legislative priorities such as requiring transparency on curricula, standards and teacher training; shifting school board election dates; requiring legislative approval of state standards and reforming teacher education and licensure.
The guide includes model pledges to oppose Neo-racist ideology and CRT for school board candidates, candidates for state office, and voters. Pledges | NAS
This toolkit from NAS’s Civics Alliance includes resources on pushing back against “action civics,” which — in the guise of “civic engagement” or “service learning” — replaces classroom learning with training in politicized community organizing tactics.
Website: Parents Defending Education
Parents Defending Education (PDE) is a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas. Through network and coalition building, investigative reporting, litigation, and engagement on local, state, and national policies, we are fighting indoctrination in the classroom — and promoting the restoration of a healthy, non-political education for our kids.
Watch PDE’s video: About – Parents Defending Education
PDE’s web site instructs parents on how to reclaim their schools by getting engaged and empowered to “expose” ongoing Neo-racist indoctrination. It includes sections on organizing, communicating (for example, creating “woke at” pages and “Technical tips on using Instagram), press releases and op-eds, etc.
It also advises parents on how to write an op-ed, (How to Write an Op-Ed – Parents Defending Education), letter to the editor (How to Write a Letter to the Editor – Parents Defending Education), or “effective letter to your school” (Send an Effective Letter to Your School – Parents Defending Education), and coaches them on questions to ask school officials (Questions to Ask School Officials – Parents Defending Education). It features information on parents’ rights and “how to document your issue.”
The web site includes a private school playbook, with resources such as “private school rights,” “speaking to school officials” and “document your issue.” Private School Playbook – Parents Defending Education
Other resources include:
PDE is particularly dedicated to, and skilled at, filing lawsuits over school policies that violate the law, including First Amendment (First Amendment – Parents Defending Education), Title VI (Title VI – Parents Defending Education) and Title IX violations (Title IX – Parents Defending Education). The organization connects parent with strong legal cases with attorneys who can help them.
This 25-page resource includes a detailed “critical pedagogy glossary” that explains equity concepts like “affinity group,” “Culturally Responsive Teaching,” “meritocracy” and “restorative justice.” It advises parents how to advocate persuasively; organize and work together as a group; interact with the media; and provide a positive alternative to Neo-racist equity ideology.
In this 9-page resource, Rufo — one of “equity” ideology’s most influential critics — lays out key Neo-racist concepts, and includes revealing quotations from theorists like Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Richard Delgado.
Rufo’s section on “Winning the Language War” is particularly valuable. He explains that parents must counter CRT theorists’ misleading buzzwords and claims by exposing their real meaning. Examples:
Rufo points out that the “the strongest line of attack is to cite specific stories about CRT in practice…. Ground your argument in facts and force your opponents to defend the indefensible.”
Rufo also has a handbook specifically for parents trying to push back against CRT in schools. In it, he lays outs key vocabulary to know, concrete steps to getting organized, and more tips on “winning the language war.”
Especially useful is the section identifying common counterarguments used by proponents of CRT. For example: