Masschusetts Republicans Fail to Learn the Virginia Lesson on Opposing ‘Woke’ Education

POLITICS & POLICY
Massachusetts State House in Boston (Pixabay)

In Virginia, Glenn Youngkin’s successful gubernatorial campaign criticized a divisive mode of identity politics in public schools. Some Republicans in Massachusetts are taking the opposite approach: sponsoring legislation that entrenches an identity-politics bureaucracy.

Backed by leading Democrats in the state legislature, “An Act Relative to Educator Diversity” (H. 682) has multiple GOP co-sponsors, including the ranking Republican senator on the education committee (who did not respond to requests for comment). Unlike some of the other bills pending in the Massachusetts legislature, this one makes no explicit reference to ideological curricula. However, it does create a host of incentives and institutions to promote identity-oriented hiring and the policing of speech and educational practice according to “woke” doctrines.

The beginning of the bill would make teacher licensing more flexible in the Bay State, but the bulk of it establishes various identity-oriented bureaucracies. The bill would instruct a state “Center for Strategic Initiatives” to set “guidelines for affirmative action and diversity plans” for public-school teachers and support staff. Moreover, each district would be required to set “policy and measurable goals” to live up to these guidelines. The legislation also requires the state to “collect and report publicly statewide educator diversity data and set measurable educator diversity goals for the state.”

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