The U.S. parent group “Parents Defending Education” (PDE) has implemented a method of tracking “equity consultants.” As a result, it has been able to confirm more than 100 contracts between schools and private consulting firms charged with advising educational institutions on ideologies such as “critical race theory.”
Published this week on PDE’s official website, the report details findings from thousands of pages of public records requests reviewed by the group.
So far alone, PDE has uncovered contracts worth $19,575,169 through 249 documents in 29 states and 95 districts. The “report” card offers an initial glimpse into the connections and business interests behind one of the issues that have sparked heated debate in the country in recent times.
The organization identified 122 consultants and contractors across the country and noted that the information released so far is only a “drop in the bucket.”
Many parents and teachers have complained over the past period, charging that the leftist attempt to impose supposed “racial fairness” carries the imposition of unproven and highly controversial theories detrimental to traditional American values and moral rectitude.
“We have learned that parents and students are up against a well-oiled and well-funded monster that could be called the ‘awakening machine,'” reads a statement from PDE.
“With stealth operations and without parental involvement, this machine is turning our schools into ideological conformity factories, using race, gender and sexuality as a cudgel to divide, shame and confuse our children,” the statement continues.
The group blames this attempt at mass indoctrination on powerful ideological forces that include partisan, non-profit organizations, activist teachers, superintendents, and school boards; “progressive” politicians and consultants at the state and federal level. Their goal is to impose indoctrination through the school curricula and in all manner of local, state, and federal regulations and policies.
The PDE, led in part by former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani, has wasted no time tracking down information about so-called “awakening” influences seeping into school curricula and teacher training across the U.S.
Another of the controversial points noted in the parent group’s report is that of the leftist educational consulting firms identified in this first instance, the one with the largest number of contracts with public schools is Panorama Education. It was co-founded by the son-in-law of Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland is accused of defending “critical race theory” and other leftist ideologies implemented in the education system.
Panorama reportedly accumulated at least $27 million from school boards between 2017 and 2020 alone as a product of its support for 1,500 U.S. school systems, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest raised by the attorney general’s attempt to investigate school board protests.
The new database comes just as Garland appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, where he declined to answer questions about the apparent conflict of interest. Garland was asked if he was aware of federal regulations on upholding the impartiality of executive branch employees.
Nomani, PDE’s director, also expressed concern about the role of large social networks in these types of matters. She pointed to the specific case of Mark Zuckerberg, who contributed to a $16 million investment in Panorama’s efforts to expand social-emotional learning.