Westfield Public Schools adopts controversial curriculum on race
In November 2019, Westfield Public School District and the Westfield Education Fund announced a new initiative “aimed at improving discussions of race in classrooms across the district.” It offered a course, “POWER, PRIVILEGE AND IMBALANCE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY -4678,” to “analyze and evaluate how white supremacy has been established in American society and the ways it continues to impact the African American, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian communities today.”
The district approved the course on Dec. 3, 2019 in a split decision; TAP into Westfield reported:
The course description states that the curriculum helps students “understand the barriers encountered by people of ethnic minorities and how those barriers were created and have changed America.” Opponents of the course, however, cited content in the curriculum that has been critiqued as being unintentionally anti-Semitic and anti-Asian.
In September 2020, the Westfield Education Fund announced additional funding to support education in Westfield’s public schools on racial literacy; $18,453 will be used to purchase books and other materials that explore themes of inclusiveness, diversity, fairness, and equality, while $20,000 will fund professional development, including a November visit by educational consultant David Schwartz, the founder of Creative Options for Progressive Educators.
Westfield School Board Splits in Approval of Course on Race, Power Imbalance, TAP into Westfield, Dec. 4, 2019
Westfield Education Fund Grants to Boost Students’ Racial Literacy, TAP into Westfield, Sept. 25, 2020