NYC schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is resuming implicit-bias training remotely for all Department of Education employees, saying for the first time the controversial sessions are needed because of bias against Asian-Americans.
The anti-bias workshops are controversial. Administrators have been lectured on “white supremacy culture,” and teachers asked to examine their “whiteness.” Those who objected were accused of “white fragility,” participants said.
The DOE, which is now facing severe budget cuts, has budgeted $23 million for the training over four years and has spent $6.3 million so far.
“This workshop is necessary now more than ever,” DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer told The Post. “The city has seen an increase in bias and bigotry directed at Asian and Asian-American New Yorkers. These trainings prepare our staff to be a part of the fight against this bigotry.”
But the focus on Asian-Americans is new — and surprising.
“They were singularly focused on the black and Latino experience last year,” a DOE administrator told The Post. “They were not being inclusive.”
The chancellor’s demand to eliminate the SHSAT, the sole admissions test for eight elite high schools, infuriated Asian-American parents whose high-scoring children get admitted in large percentages. Last year, state Sen. John Liu called City Hall’s push to scrap the test “racist.”
In a video posted on Twitter last Monday, Carranza called it “critical” to explore deep, unconscious beliefs.
“Every one of us has biases and they inform the way we approach our work in classrooms and offices, and in the way we approach our children,” he said,
Carranza did not mention Asians or any racial or ethnic group.
The DOE spokesman also made no mention of anti-Semitism. In January, the DOE vowed to address a string of attacks on Jews, and rolled out lesson plans on the Holocaust in Brooklyn schools.
Instead of using outside vendors, the remote workshops will be led in-house by a 21-member team in the Office of Equity and Access.
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