Montgomery County schools awarded $450,000 contract for 'anti-racism system audit'

Two Minnesota college students launch petition against critical race theory

A school district in Maryland reportedly awarded nearly half-a-million dollars to an equity consultancy so it could perform an anti-racism audit.

The figure came as part of a trove of public records released on Wednesday by the conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch. One document showed that the school board approved the $454,000 award during a meeting on Nov. 17.

According to this document, the audit would cover “Workforce Diversity, Work Conditions, K–12 Curriculum Review, Equity Achievement Framework Progress, Community Relations and Engagement, and Evaluation of School Cultures.”

It reads: “The Anti-racist System Audit will provide an opportunity to examine the district’s systems, practices, and policies that do not create access, opportunities, and equitable outcomes for every student’s academic and social emotional well-being.”

It added that “the audit will provide the opportunity to examine not only the student experience; it presents the occasion to analyze policies and practices that impact staff, as well.”

The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MCPS) was awarded the money for FY2021. On its website, the group describes its mission as “to promote excellence and equity in education to achieve social justice.”

The group added that it “believes that by increasing educator awareness, understanding, and skills to address factors which contribute to inequities, clients will become change agents and create positive learning environments where all students can succeed.”

“Our theory is based on a deep analysis of root causes of racial, cultural, linguistic, gender, and ethnic inequities in education. Current structural, cultural, and material policies and procedures impede low-income, African American, and Latino students (including English Learners) from achieving in school.”

MCPS did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Judicial Watch’s request also returned materials showing that students were learning about topics like White privilege and intersectionality, which are often associated with critical race theory (CTR). 

One middle school’s social justice curriculum included graphics that outlined examples “covert White supremacy.” Some of the examples included the “Make America Great Again” slogan, “denial of White privilege,” “celebration of Columbus Day,” “colorblindness” and the idea that “we’re just one human family.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said, “The racist, revolutionary claptrap in these documents should be nowhere near a school classroom.”

“These documents show that extremists have access to our schools and are willing to abuse this access to children in order to advance a dangerous, divisive, and likely illegal agenda,” he added.

Wednesday’s revelation was the latest to underscore concerns surrounding controversial ideas about race and how much public institutions were paying to propagate them.

Defenders argue that CRT-type training helps enhance dominant groups’ understanding and empathy of what the oppressed experience on a regular basis. These types of trainings have also been promoted as ways to “dismantle” or weaken alleged structures imposing burdens through bias and discrimination.

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, an expert on critical race theory at Boston University School of Law, told the Boston Globe that critical race theory helped people understand the complexity of race — beyond “simple” narratives that they may have been taught.

“Racism is not extraordinary,” she continued. “Race and racism are basically baked into everything we do in our society. It’s embedded in our institutions. It’s embedded in our minds and hearts.”

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