Report: K-12 public schools use illegal race-based hiring, screen for ‘social ideology’

A search of a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) website by The Lion confirms a report that K-12 public schools have instituted illegal racial quotas in hiring.

Additional research by The Lion…

A search of a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) website by The Lion confirms a report that K-12 public schools have instituted illegal racial quotas in hiring.

Additional research by The Lion found that these practices were encouraged by the DOE.

A new report from the National Opportunity Project (NOP), a nonprofit government watchdog, found that K-12 public schools use “[d]iscriminatory and divisive hiring policies” routinely in recruitment.

The report is based on a survey of 70 public schools across the country on their hiring practices, said a press release from NOP. 

The report highlights an ongoing problem inside America’s failing public school system, even as the U.S. Supreme Court in recent decisions has made it clear that race-based hiring is still illegal in the United States. 

“Hiring tactics that limit teaching staff to certain prescribed viewpoints, ideologies, and backgrounds are incompatible with our fundamental values,” said Patrick Hughes, president of NOP. “It is time to re-evaluate teacher employment practices in light of the Supreme Court’s recent rulings.” 

The report comes as state attorneys general across the country warned law firms, banks and Fortune 100 companies who have instituted similar diversity, equity and inclusion policies (DEI) about practices that have veered into using illegal racial quotas. 

Indeed, NOP found that the core of the problems “appear to stem from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives adopted in recent years by school boards and administrators.”  

While DEI initiatives have undergone a high degree of scrutiny in the public university system, DEI programs in K-12 public schools have largely been ignored.  

This, despite the fact that the DOE’s IES provides strategies to K-12 public schools to hire based solely on race and skin color. 

“Recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse teachers is possible when schools and districts use data-driven, targeted strategies to inform their outreach efforts. Here are 9 evidence-based strategies that focus on what schools and districts can do to recruit, select, hire, onboard, and retain teachers of color,” said a DOE Institute of Education Science (IES) report uncovered by The Lion. 

A simple search of the IES website for documents relating to both “hiring” and “teachers of color” returned 245 results.  

In addition to the racial quotas, NOP found that DEI practices were creating school systems where only progressive teachers and administrators were being hired.  

Some examples cited by NOP include: 

  • In Evanston Township High School District 202 in Illinois, applicants must “demonstrate a commitment to social justice, equity, excellence and high expectations for all students.” 
  • Spokane Public Schools in Washington asks potential teachers, “What does a socially just classroom look like?” 
  • Atlanta Public Schools in Georgia asks, “What about your background makes you more/less likely to fit into this community?” 
  • Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia rates candidate responses that show strong agreement with DEI concepts like “equity journey,” “equity work,” and “understand that race is social construct” more highly on a scoring rubric. 
  • Denver Public Schools applicants to an elementary school art teacher position must: “Lead for racial and educational excellence and work to dismantle systems of oppression and inequity in our community…”. 
  • City Schools of Decatur in Georgia directs leaders to staff hiring teams for racial and gender equity by “ensur[ing] that there is at least one person of color and one woman or gender-fluid individual on the interview panel. Individuals who embody other aspects of diversity should be included as well.” 

NOP called upon the public to hold school boards and administrators accountable for stopping the illegal and controversial practices inspired by DEI policies. 

“Policies that favor applicants of specific political viewpoints, creed, race, or orientation and discourage others rob students of diverse viewpoints, skilled teachers, and a quality education,” said Hughes. “More importantly, our highest courts have time and again said discrimination in hiring is illegal. The same standards should be applied to our public schools.”