On May 31, 2022, the administrative team of Mahwah Township Public Schools published a letter claiming to have “introduced a consultant with whom we plan to recommend to our Board of Education in pursuing equity and inclusivity work in the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.” The district’s administrative team then explains that the district will provide teachers with “diversity training to ensure that all staff are comfortable discussing race, equity, and equality as appropriate by grade level.” The administrative team also explains how the decision was made to choose the consulting firm US² to help implement equity initiatives.
Goals for the consulting firm in the 2022-2023 school year are to “administer training,” “communication and coaching support,” “audit of policy and curriculum,” “town hall hosting,” “focus group guidance,” “survey analysis with administration,” and “reporting of findings.” A responsibility for the consulting firm will be “to review our curriculum, policies, procedures, and gain a sense of our culture and climate to ultimately draft an equity audit, which will be reflective of our current community.” The audit will be used to “inform our roadmap ahead.” The letter then explains what the equity audit will involve:
- Self-assessments will allow for individual district and schools to assess where they believe they are with regards to equity and inclusion.
- Surveys to the parent/student community to gain a sense of stakeholder views.
- Focus groups will take place to hear participant voices on their individual experiences and perceptions.
The website for US² states that the consulting firm “is devoted to building more equitable and inclusive businesses and schools leading to a better society for us all.” US² has a blog titled “Overcoming Heterosexism through Celebration” that appears to attack the idea of heterosexuality. In another blog titled “What is Ethnocentrism? Looking beyond the dominant culture,” the consulting firm appears to attack the idea of people being “Christian” and “heterosexual.” When discussing education in schools, the consulting firm explains in the blog: “Understanding that the formation of what is predominantly seen as the dominant American culture (White, Christian, Upper-Middle Class, Suburban, Heterosexual, English-speaking) was crafted intentionally by those in power can help us understand the root of our own personal biases.”