Teachers at one of the nation's leading independent schools were pressed this past month to assess how their classes advanced students' commitments to social justice issues, including the "diversity of sexual identity."
Materials from a diversity audit conducted by an outside consultant for the tony Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles quiz teachers on their compliance with progressive views on six categories of "diversity": racial identity, religious identity, socioeconomic status, "family structure," sexual identity, and disability status. For each topic, teachers were told to ask themselves how they address these identities in their courses, what values students are acquiring when learning about these identities, and how the course promotes a social justice understanding of the world more generally.
Teachers were also asked to fill out a worksheet indicating how their classes, regardless of subject, contributed to students' understanding of "diversity." The sheet asked teachers to describe how their courses "foster an understanding of systems of power and encourage students to develop tools for equity and justice."
The materials, which emphasize to teachers the importance of teaching social justice ideology, offer an inside look at the spread of the new progressivism taking root in American high schools and shed light on the sort of advice schools across the country are shelling out for in the wake of the summer's racial protests.