Published June 15, 2022
Monitor and Challenge the District’s Quota-Encouraging “Equity & Excellence” Policy
Dear Palo Alto parents, community members and concerned citizens,
Recently, Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) adopted a strategic priority "Equity & Excellence" under "The Promise 2022-23" -- Systemwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT). Cloaked in pleasant-sounding euphemisms such as equity and positive school environment, this new policy priority will encourage unconstitutional and counterproductive racial quotas in grading, school discipline and course instruction. Please reach out to your school board members to voice your concerns regarding the many negative ramifications of this policies.
"Equity-based grading, discipline and education policies will facilitate the lowering of academic standards and excellence," commented Frank Xu, president of CFER. "More importantly, parents need to be alarmed by the fact that an emphasis on race proportionality will undoubtedly encourage race-based treatment of district students and lead to unlawful racial preferences, and even quotas."
In the name of equity, PAUSD's new equity and excellence initiative will surely attack merit and excellence. For example, the policy aims at increasing "the percentage of students in each identified/identifiable group who meet/exceed standards on state and local assessments," calibrating "grading and homework practices to provide consistent student experiences," and reducing "disproportionality for Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Pacific Islander in School disciplinary removals, Special Education, Enrollment in Career Technical Education and Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses." Additionally, to foster "equitable student outcomes," this policy will engage in "the development of a culturally responsive/antiracist mindset."
PAUSD's equity and excellence policy is a prime example of thought indoctrination taking over merit-based education. Both culturally responsive pedagogy and antiracism have deep ideological roots in a race-based dogma, named critical race theory (CRT). A scholarly article on the former topic openly argues that "Culturally relevant curriculum reflects the images and concerns of children whom it teaches, promotes critical questioning, and is committed to social justice. Finally, culturally relevant teaching is grounded in CRT." By the same token, anti-racism advocates for race-based treatment: "Being antiracist is different for white people than it is for people of color. For white people, being antiracist evolves with their racial identity development."
Whether you have a child currently enrolled in PAUSD or not, you should be concerned about the school district's open endorsement and encouragement of race-based actions as a result of this policy. We urge you to get active and organized and voice your opposition to the "Equity & Excellence" policy priority. You can:
1. Write to the PAUSD Board of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org and to individual board members here.
2. Attend regular board meetings to give public comments regarding the policy at Board Room, 25 Churchill Ave, Palo Alto. The PAUSD Board holds board meetings every month and the next one will be on June 21st between 6:30 and 10:30 pm.
Thank you in advance for taking action!
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.