Oregon district admin’s email shows hesitation to reopen schools before implementing ‘equity’ agenda

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An Oregon district administrator told school leaders that he was concerned about a “big hurry” to reopen schools during the novel coronavirus pandemic as it could “miss an opportunity” to implement an equity agenda, according to an email reviewed by Fox News Digital. 

Pat McCreery, an administrator for equity and inclusion at the Beaverton School District, wrote about his concerns regarding Gov. Kate Brown’s advisory urging a return to in-person learning. 

In December 2020, Gov. Brown said, “Moving forward, the decision to resume in-person instruction must be made locally, district by district, school by school.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown advised schools to re-open in December 2020, leaving it up to individual districts to decide on plans for in-person learning.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown advised schools to re-open in December 2020, leaving it up to individual districts to decide on plans for in-person learning. (REUTERS/Steve Dipaola )

In response, McCreary told leaders at various schools in January of 2021, “I’m feeling concerned about our district making efforts to re-open schools in a way that feels like a big hurry to get back to what we knew and were comfortable with prior to COVID, and not the re-visioning and transformation of the structures and practices that we know inhibit equity.”

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“I am worried that we are going to miss an opportunity to enact change during this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime moment,” he said.

McCreery said in another email, reviewed by Fox News, on December 16, 2021, which said that despite pushback from parents on the “antiracism being brought up in classes” the district would not make any changes. 

Oregon’s Student Success Act planned to invest $2 billion in K-12 education every two years, mostly for equity-related purposes. 

Oregon’s Student Success Act planned to invest $2 billion in K-12 education every two years, mostly for equity-related purposes.  (iStock)

Fox News Digital reached out to McCreery but did not immediately receive a response.

“The trauma, in my view, comes from the denial of the student to be able to engage in… racialize histories and identities,” he said. “They are not being included in the work to develop and practice empathy.”

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Equity is a top priority for Oregon’s public education system, including the Beaverton district.

“Beaverton…  owns that our student outcomes currently point to our part in perpetuating institutional racism, and we commit to actions that address the current culture that is leading to these outcomes,” the district’s mission statement said, according to an “antiracist” curriculum previously reported by Fox News Digital. 

“We commit to eliminating the structures, policies and practices that perpetuate inequities in our schools and in our community,” it continues. 

Beaverton School District's mission statement was previously reported by Fox News Digital in a story about an elementary school's "antiracist" 21-day challenge. 

Beaverton School District’s mission statement was previously reported by Fox News Digital in a story about an elementary school’s "antiracist" 21-day challenge.  (Fox News Digital)

Fox News previously reported that Errol Hassell Elementary in Beaverton taught a 21-day antiracist curriculum that instructed elementary children to describe their race, and informed them about microaggressions and systemic racism.

In discussion questions students were asked, “Why is being color blind not the best choice?” and “What are some invisible ways that racism shows up in our lives?”

Oregon's Department of Education launched an anti-bias training for staff which taught that White people have a "thorough racist conditioning."

Oregon’s Department of Education launched an anti-bias training for staff which taught that White people have a "thorough racist conditioning." (iStock)

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Starting in 2019, Oregon’s Student Success Act planned to invest $2 billion in K-12 education every two years. The funds are prioritized for initiatives for “improving access and opportunities for students who have been historically underserved in the education system.”

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An “antiracist” fellowship funded by ODE trains K-12 educators to reject the “Eurocentric worldview” of “individualism,” Fox News reported. 

Additionally, ODE taught its staff in anti-bias training that White people have a “thorough racist conditioning.”