Follow the Money
What is the Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc.?
On May 17, 2010, Jay Marks registered Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc. with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs as a profit corporation based in Commerce Township, Michigan. The company was dissolved on July 15, 2020.
In an online PowerPoint presentation, he asked, “Should We Be Colorblind?”
Jay Marks has advocated for the formation of affinity groups as a means for white educators to learn more about racism, anti-racism, and to explicitly examine the impact of whiteness on the K-12 system. He has also recommended that privilege be leveraged in ways that give voice to those who are marginalized.
One presentation listed on his site explains it purpose as follows:
- “Develop a common knowledge as it relates to their collective knowledge and understanding of Cultural Competency and Social Justice.
- Become aware of their own social identities, and the impact their identities have on their teaching practices, and the schooling experiences of their students.
- Engage in honest conversations about race and social justice, and the impact these issues have on educators and the schooling experiences of students (i.e. the disproportionate suspension and expulsion rate of African American males.)”
What K-12 work has the Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc. done?
West Bloomfield School District
According to a local media report, Clinton Township sighed a contract with Marks, writing: “In 2018 and at the beginning of this school year, the district contracted Dr. Jay Marks, the diversity, equity school culture and climate consultant for Oakland Schools, who addressed all teachers and administrators on cultural proficiency for educators.”
Grand Blanc Community Schools
The school district has documentation of work with Jay Marks.
On June 18, 2021, Oakland Schools in Michigan issued a memo with the subject line, “Fiscal Year 22 – Contract Renewal Notice,” to Marks for the 2021-2022 school year to renew his contract for the position of “Diversity and Equity Consultant.” The school district did not send Parents Defending Education a renewal contract or original contract. It said: Additional communication regarding your FY22 salary and stipends (if applicable) will be sent to you at a later date.”
West Bloomfield School District
On July 23, 2021, Jay Marks joined a virtual meeting, “From Hurt to Healing: Growing our Emotional Understanding About the World Around Us,” focusing on “speaking to children about race.” The video included the white superintendent, Gerald Hill, answering a question on how white teachers could navigate “white privilege” and “white supremacy.” He quoted Ibram Kendi in his answer (1:22:00).
In response to a public records request from Parents Defending Education, West Bloomfield School District said: “Contracts, purchase orders and agreements with Jay Marks do not exist. His services are provided to the West Bloomfield School District as a function of the intermediate school district (Oakland Schools),” where Marks is a consultant.
Resources included definitions to “assist parents when discussing race with kids,” including “protest,” “white privilege” and “anti-racism.” White privilege was defined as “inherent privilege experienced by white people over non-white people.”
“Books about race” included:
- Antiracist Baby Picture Book
- Ibram Kendi’s Stamped
- Race Cars. A Children’s Book About White Privilege
The school district’s equity page was identified as a resource to participants.