Pacific Educational Group: Radicalism for Kids, on the Taxpayers' Dime

Glenn Singleton’s Pacific Education Group (PEG), which bases its school programs on “Systemic Racism” on Derrick Bell’s radical Critical Race Theory, has caused controversy in school districts across the country—at taxpayer expense.

In addition to disputes within the Evanston Township High School district in Evanston, IL -- reported today by Breitbart.com -- PEG has been the focus of debate in school districts from St. Paul, MN to Macon, GA.

Yesterday, local media in Macon reported that parents had begun protesting the use of PEG by the school district. As Phillip Ramati noted at macon.com:

In his Macon Miracle school improvement plan, Superintendent Romain Dallemand said he wants to hire the Pacific Educational Group to close the achievement gap between white and Asian students and those of color, primarily blacks and Latinos.

The mission statement of PEG, founded in 1992 by Glenn Singleton, is fairly straightforward: “At Pacific Educational Group we believe systemic racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished capacity of all children, especially black children, to achieve at the highest levels, and contributes to the fracturing of the communities that nurture and support them.”

One of the Macon Miracle’s goals is to train people throughout the district to recognize racial factors in the classroom -- by providing ongoing PEG training.

But in recent public meetings, many Bibb County parents have voiced their concerns, saying the PEG program needlessly attacks white teachers by telling them they are racist. Those parents said Singleton is a polarizing figure, attracting as much criticism for the PEG methodology as he does praise.

“I think it’s horrible to tell students they can’t learn because of the color of their skin,” said Andy Wilson, a Bibb County parent of three. “I’m all for giving students help, but not because of the color of their skin. ... This is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and if my child brings (racist teachings) home, I’ll be the first one to file.”

But Dallemand, who worked with Singleton in Hartford, Conn., and Rochester, Minn., said the issues that Singleton brings up in his training are necessary if Bibb County schools are ever to close the achievement gap.

Critics in Macon and other cities also have balked at the cost of hiring PEG, noting that school districts across the country have spent $100,000 or more -- with little data showing that those schools closed the achievement gap.

Ramati notes the long history of criticism of Singleton, his book Courageous Conversations About Race, and PEG itself:

“We approach racial disparity from a multipronged approach,” Singleton said. “First and foremost, we engage in a dialogue cross-racially. We provide the training, support and tools to talk about race. ... We wouldn’t have been around for 20 years if we were racially divisive.”

Still, critics often have argued that in some of the places where PEG has been hired, the argument is one-sided against whites and Asians. The Cherry Creek school system, located in a suburb of Denver, hired PEG for a six-figure sum in 2006 to run the program there.

Vincent Carroll, now an editorial writer for The Denver Post, criticized the PEG philosophy as the editorial page editor for The Rocky Mountain News in 2006, just after “Courageous Conversations” was published.

“The program also promotes a world view in which American society is relentlessly oppressive; in which individuals, even today, remain at the mercy of their racial origins; in which ‘white talk’ is ‘verbal, impersonal, intellectual’ and ‘task-oriented,’ while ‘color commentary’ is ‘nonverbal, personal, emotional’ and ‘process-oriented,’ ” Carroll wrote in a May 10, 2006, editorial. “Enlightened whites, in the authors’ description, speak in the chastened, cringing language of someone who has emerged from a re-education camp.”...

“(Singleton) has come through Minnesota and other states and has provided some interesting and good information,” [Rochester, NY school board member Sandy] Soltis said. “However, and this is my thought: It makes people feel ashamed, mainly whites. It’s like we can’t help people of color because we’re living with the sins and actions of people many, many years ago. For the big bucks, it was very controversial.”

Rochester has spent just over $200,000 during the past five years on various seminars with PEG, district officials said.

Sheila Kihne, a parent in Eden Prairie, MN (near St. Paul), posted an outraged blog last year noting that school districts across the state had spent nearly $2 million on PEG programs.

No Bid. No results.  I've studied several school districts across the country where PEG has operated for years including San Leandro, CA, Seattle, WA and Carborro, NC...while there may be some signs of improvement in one subject area or grade level, in another subject area or grade level-- the gap widens.  There is absolutely no statistically relevant evidence to prove that PEG has done anything to close the achievement gap.  There is ample evidence to show the gap that PEG has created in the communities in which it has sold its snake oil.  Superintendent after Superintendent gone, gone, gone....

These companies cater to lazy administrators looking for easy answers.  You can sure feel good and act like you're doing something by bringing in these companies to provide training galore replete with empty promises.

We achieve more when we stop grouping people, stop guilting teachers, and start treating students as the unique individual learners that they are.  Stop with the constant focus on our differences. 

Teaching and reinforcing the idea of "racial predictability" is racist and Pacific Education Group are the race-hustlers responsible.  End of story.

Breitbart.com contacted PEG for details about more school districts in which it has been involved. PEG declined to provide precise information, but indicated that it had been active in "hundreds" of school districts over twenty years.


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