New Trier schools paid nearly $90K for group to instruct teachers on 'whiteness'
New Trier High School District 203 paid $88,614 to a consultancy to teach its staff why “whiteness” causes black and Hispanic students to score lower on standardized tests.
North Cook News reviewed district check registers from Jan. 2011 to Jun. 2016. The Pacific Educational Group (PEG) received taxpayer dollars as part of District 203’s “professional development” budget, conducting “diversity training” and holding “seminars” and “summits” with dozens of New Trier’s teachers.
One of them, New Trier teacher Pat Savage-Williams, a lead organizer of the school’s mandatory "White Guilt" Day, scheduled for Feb. 28, presented at a recent event in Austin, Texas.
Including reimbursed travel expenses, attendance at these events has cost New Trier taxpayers many tens of thousands of dollars more.
Savage-Williams is president of the Evanston Township High School School Board and has actively promoted PEG in that district as well. PEG specializes in “white privilege” training for public school teachers and administrators. Its founder, Glenn Singleton, preaches that white teachers stop black and Hispanic students from achieving because they fail to understand their cultures.
PEG teaches that “individualism”-- or assigning independent classroom assignments -- and “future time orientation,” or planning ahead, are forms of “cultural racism” that benefit whites over blacks.
“It is our belief that the most devastating factor contributing to the lowered achievement of students of color is institutionalized racism,” Singleton wrote in a book he co-authored with K-12 curriculum producer Curtis Linton. “We will shine the light on racial dominance to uncover how Whiteness challenges the performance of students of color while shaping and reinforcing the racial perspective of white children.”
For example, according to Singleton and PEG, “white talk” is “verbal, impersonal, intellectual” and “task-oriented,” versus the “nonverbal, personal, emotional” and “process-oriented” style of blacks and Hispanics.
Singleton’s goal: to get participants in his seminars to “come to recognize that race impacts every aspect of your life 100 percent of the time.”
“Anger, guilt, and shame are just a few of the emotions” Singleton expects whites to experience “as they move toward a greater understanding of Whiteness.”
Beyond inviting PEG to New Trier to present to teachers, and paying to send teachers to its national and regional events, New Trier is one of a handful of schools in the Chicago area that is a dues-paying affiliate of the organization, district check registers show.
Highland Park H.S., Deerfield H.S., Evanston H.S. and Oak Park-River Forest H.S. have also been affiliated with and spent tax dollars with PEG.
New Trier H.S. District 203 spending with Pacific Educational Group
$11,500, Diversity Training
$5,010, Registration for National Summit for Courageous Conversations
$5,500, 2015-16 Annual Affiliate Licensing Fee
$2,274.99, Registration for the Chicago Regional Summit for Courageous Conversations
$16,300, Beyond Diversity Program and Affiliate Licensing
$3,114.46, No description
$10,300, Diversity program
$9,700, Diversity program
$5,000, No description
$9,700, No description
$5,000, No description