Federal funds meant for special education children went to promote $2 trillion in educational reparations.
The latest Educational Equity Network quarterly program featured Dr. Bettina Love, educator, author, and founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network.
Love advocates for embracing CRT (her “North Star”), reparations, and therapy for White teachers so they stop ‘spirit-murdering’ Black children with their racism.
The Biden Department of Education backed away from Love’s group in 2021, removing them from a DOE handbook to help schools reopen post-COVID.
But Wisconsin’s DPI has embraced Love for years, creating DPI study guides for each of Love’s books, seeking advice from Love on embedding abolitionist teaching in DPI and in Wisconsin schools.
- Love’s past advice? Nail down your base, make sure colleges are teaching future teachers how to be abolitionist teachers, and politicize students.
- Love’s current advice? Make White people pay.
DPI, The Network, Equity, and Tax Dollars
Every year, DPI sends federal tax dollars earmarked for special education students to the Educational Equity Network, which hosts quarterly “Equity Institutes” for educators to learn about racism, oppression and exclusion in education so they change their ways. Every year thousands of participants, mostly teachers and administrators, participate in the quarterly trainings. This quarter, the headliner was Dr. Bettina Love.
Love and Hate
Love is promoting her recently released book Punished for Dreaming; How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal in which she claims that, since the 1980s, education reformers motivated by White Rage against
Black Excellence, put targets on the backs of Black students with the intent to cause harm.
Love claims White people, intoxicated by capitalism and anti-blackness, deliberately and for profit, declared war on Black people via educational reform efforts, with the goal of causing Black suffering, and these reforms have “taken the lives of Black children with surgical precision.”
Love forbade the recording of her presentation, in which she outlined the book and – in a shocking display of capitalist intoxication – encouraged participants to purchase the book and accompanying music album, and to visit her website to download the accompanying handbook, workbook, music playlist, music videos and coloring book. And, hey, buy some Punished for Dreaming merch, natch.
The introduction in Love’s Punished for Dreaming Teacher’s Guide encourages teachers and administrators to find learning spaces rooted in “Black liberation and joy” by learning from places like Woke Kindergarten. (Woke Kindergarten provides educational consultation, workshops and other content mainly to educators.)
For the education establishment, kids are never too young to politicize, and Woke Kindergarten gets them protesting in Pull-ups – and as we’ve reported, it’s not new in Wisconsin schools. It’s a safe bet that any objections to schools pushing children to go to protests that may become violent is not appropriate would meet with cries of “manufactured crisis” from Love.
A couple of Woke Kindergarten’s recent offerings:
(There’s plenty more available from Woke Kindergarten but, perhaps intoxicated by capitalism, they make you pay to see most of it.)
Dr. Love’s book builds a case for educational reparations for the past 40 years of education reform, which Love calls White Educational Rage.
The way Love figures it, 40 years of White Educational Rage mean the nation owes Black people $2 trillion.
Love said she worked with economists to come up with the $2 trillion figure which includes $16 billion for harm caused by the violent presence of School Resource Officers, $262 billion from earnings losses due to never having had a Black teacher, and $1.1 billion for being excluded from curriculum.
Love’s education-specific reparations to Black people for harm attributed to racism in the recent past builds on efforts already happening to provide housing reparations to Blacks in areas across the country.
Love is at pains to point out that the $2 trillion is the bare minimum Black people are owed for this 40 year period. She hopes that there will be a much broader atonement in the form of 400 years of educational reparations to be paid to descendants of those harmed.
Reparations for slavery is gaining support; while only 30% of adults say descendants of slaves should receive reparations, support is inversely proportional to age. Only 18% of those over 65 support reparations for slavery but the proportion increases steadily among younger adults, reaching 45% of those under 30 according to a 2022 report from the Pew Research Center.
In building the case for a $2 trillion payout, Love traces events starting in the Reagan Administration, she calls “manufactured crises” borne of White Rage against Black excellence.
According to Love, every educational reform effort of the past 40 years has been implemented not to improve education, but to harm Black people.
Educational Reform=White Rage
Love claims that in the past 40 years, White Rage manufactured crisis after crisis to punish Black people for fighting for their right to quality public education. She claims reforms come from Whites who believe Black people are inferior and refuse to see them as fully human. Manifestations of White Rage include:
- Educational Accountability
- School Safety
- Standardized Testing
- School Choice
- Student Loan Debt
- Think Tanks
- Teach for America
- Book Bans
Timeline of White Rage
1982 – Reagan’s War on Drugs
Love creates a timeline of White Educational Rage, starting in 1983 with President Reagan and the War on Drugs, which is part of his “multi-tier attack on Black life.” She goes farther, calling the War on Drugs the “extermination of Black and brown people,” a “way to disappear Black folx (sic).”
1983 – A Nation at Risk
Love ties the War on Drugs to the educational status report A Nation at Risk, which she characterizes as a fear-mongering-report saying the U.S. was doing so poorly academically that we might lose a war. She says the report helps manufacture a crisis using misleading information, cherry-picking bad data, because in truth, schools were doing just fine at that period.
Love says A Nation at Risk spurred
educational reforms White Rage that caused a cascade of racist outcomes that continue to impact Black children:
1983 – DARE and COPS
Love says 1983 is also important because this is when the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program was created. She characterizes DARE as a racist system telling children there are good people and bad people and the bad people must go to jail. DARE, Love says, was created to get inner city Black kids to turn their drug-using parents in to police, encouraging them to snitch on their “community” in exchange for a t-shirt and keychain.
DARE was harmful, in Love’s view, because it told kids to trust cops, that Black people deserve punishment, and that there are no second chances.
Also in 1983 Love said the ‘theme song’ for the manufactured crisis was on TV in the form of the show COPS which was “broadcasting the lies” and playing on the racist narrative of Black criminality.
1984 – Chaos in the Classroom
Then Love moves to a 1984 report on education, Chaos in the Classroom which she says wrongly claims that students are so “rude” that we needed police in schools. Love says the report was designed specifically to manufacture a crisis and create a racist narrative that didn’t exist.
In fact, the report didn’t address rudeness, but the 3 million children victims of crime monthly, most robberies and thefts but some quarter million were victims of violence. It also looked at crimes against teachers and noted the cost of vandalism exceeding spending on textbooks.
1994 – Clinton’s Gun-Free Schools Act and Violent Crime Control Bill
President Clinton signed the legislation that required expulsion of a student who brought a gun to school, a racist law that didn’t make schools safer, according to Love.
Love says Clinton signed the 1994 crime bill that put more cops on the streets and contained a 3-strikes provision, to show that it wasn’t just Republicans who would severely punish Black people.
1996 – Hillary and Super-Predators
In a campaign speech, First Lady Hillary Clinton touted the success of the 1994 crime bill, particularly the organized effort against gangs connected to drug cartels. Clinton said these gangs are not just kids, they’re super-predators with no conscience or empathy.
Love claims Clinton said “Black teens” were super predators, though a video clip of Clinton’s remarks proves this false. Love goes on to say that Clinton’s remarks “incited racial rhetoric that authorized the disposal of Black children.”
2000 – Achievement Gap and No Child Left Behind
Love says that George W. Bush faked caring about minority students by pretending to want to address the achievement gap.
According to Love: “We don’t have an achievement gap, we have racism. We don’t have a funding gap, we have racism.” She stresses to educators that they should not be talking about gaps, but about harm caused by racism.Love says NCLB was designed to “punish” Black children by focusing on improving reading and math skills and ignoring student-teacher relationships. Click To Tweet
It forced teachers to – according to Love – suspend Black kids, or put them in special education when they didn’t need it. (Apparently to game the numbers, making their teaching accomplishments look better by by removing low performing students from the test score pools.)
2009 – Race to the Top
Love sums up the next 20 years as being filled with punitive school reform policies like merit pay, and by 2009, President Obama’s racist Race to the Top, which failed to address inequity in any way. Love says RTTT again “forced” teachers to cheat, changing student answers (among other falsification) to fake-improve test scores and land merit bonuses.
Cheating parties held by Atlanta educators were an acceptable substitute to teaching kids to read, and Love bemoans how some of those teachers – who admitted their wrongdoing – ended up being charged and convicted. To Love, teaching kids enough about basic subjects that they are able to answer some test questions correctly is as bad as racist Educational White Rage gets.
2023 – Book Bans
Love says one of the current forms of education reform White Rage is book bans. According to Love, there is no data, or reports to indicate a need for book bans, and that only a few ignorant people are driving the bans.
Here again, an academic could spend under 30 minutes and find plenty of scholarly studies on the harm of hyper-sexualization on children, particularly girls. But as with the Clinton super-predator quote, Love did not bother.
In addition to the problem of banning books many kids in low performing schools cannot even read, Love says the current White Rage manufactured crises include drag queens grooming children and CRT.
Love CRT and DEI
Love breaks ranks with the regular liberal educrats on both CRT and DEI. Where most of the education establishment uses CRT principles in teaching and denies doing so to the public, Love unabashedly tells educators they must embrace CRT as part of acknowledging America as racist, discriminatory and unjust.
Similarly, while educators at both DPI and UW have declared DEI to be the hill they will die on, Love characterizes DEI as a trap. She said DEI is just unpaid volunteers (“Black people, a couple good Whites, a sprinkle of gays”) with no power. She mocked DEI “chiefs” as figureheads that can do nothing to advance the real work of anti-racism.
Again, Love ignores the huge and growing number of DEI staff in schools who are funded by millions and millions of education dollars. Like the education dollars earmarked for disabled kids that are being used to fund this seminar which allowed capitalist Love to hawk her book and merch.
As is clear above, Love’s presentation was filled with criticism for those she sees as racists of all political stripes.
Her book goes further, creating her own Super-Predator list which includes both conservatives and liberals – Reagan, Bush, Trump, Obama, Clinton, Gates, Zuckerberg, the Koch Brothers and the Bradley Foundation. In Love’s world, education reforms White Rage is so unhinged that people in power will seek and implement plans to destroy the entire school system because they’re consumed with the single goal of causing harm to the 12% of Black students in them.
These are some of the people Love insists over the past 40 years we see over and over “manufacturing of crises” to harm Black children.
Some might say in Love’s work we see over and over Love’s cherry-picking of facts and the outright misrepresentation of others. They’d be right.
The Network Background
The federal government provides grants to states to “assist them in providing special education and related services to all children with disabilities.” These grants from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education, (program 84.027) and flow to DPI in Wisconsin.
DPI sends these federal special education funds to finance the Educational Equity Network and helps them to develop materials and programs to help teachers and schools to reduce racial disproportionality in special education. “Racial disproportionality” is the magic phrase that lets them ignore disabled kids to focus on CRT, white supremacy, and racism.
Part of the programming DPI helps the Network deliver is quarterly virtual training sessions for teachers and administrators; these ‘leadership institutes’ focus primarily on how rampant racism and White privilege are harming minority students, with a primary focus on Black students. Read more here and here.
The Network produces an annual report that doesn’t mention how much funding they receive, how many employees they have, or how they spend the tax dollars they receive, instead only covering attendance in their race-hate seminars, which included 204 school districts and every Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA).
Their summer session will feature Ibram X. Kendi, who advocates racism against White people as one means of providing reparations to Black people.