For-Profit Education Companies
Third-party partner organizations are often brought into the classroom to help teachers with their lessons. While this in itself is not wrong, the school administrators need to be aware that these companies often use their platforms to teach Critical Race Theory concepts or sexual ideologies. Some examples of companies used by CCSD can be found below:
BrainPOP teaches that “It’s important to acknowledge that children see racial identity and skin color. When we acknowledge identity… we empower them to stand up to racial injustice. Talking about these issues with children also allows us to open the door to how they can disrupt inequality and combat systemic racism...Black lives matter.”
BrainPOP says it “is committed to combating racism by creating antiracist content that examines the long and painful history of race in America. By doing so, we hope to help children understand the root causes of racism that we continue to encounter today, and empower them to dismantle it...inequality must be combatted and systemic racism must be disrupted.”
BrainPOP also created a Black Lives Matter movie lesson, teaching that the protests are “mostly peaceful”, and “about structural racism in our society: A built-in system of bias that makes life easier for white people and more difficult for Black people and other people of color.”
BrainPOP also supports Minneapolis’s efforts to “remake the police department from the ground up”. They encourage students to “take up the cause to bring about change in
iReady is being emphasized in the classroom, despite the fact that many students do not feel that it is a valuable use of their learning time. The lessons are extremely slow and waste time on loading pages and animations instead of teaching and practicing authentic material. This does not seem to be a valuable use of classroom time, and the fact that it is being pushed so heavily despite students’ feedback is concerning.
Even more concerning, however, are some of the lessons that iReady contains. In one example, students are taught to “Get Involved” in protesting, being taught that “Activists notice problems and take action… these include… discrimination due to age, gender, or ethnicity.”
Source: Student-provided graphics
Panorama is a tool that gives surveys to students to measure social and emotional well-being. Questions can be customized by a school, or databases of questions may be used. Student results are ranked in how they compare to national answers for other students and are kept in a student's personal file to document their social-emotional health, potentially throughout their school careers.
Schools often make goals to reach certain scores, and Panorama provides lessons through third-party partners to help achieve this objective. The third-party partners have been found to overwhelmingly support Critical Race Theory concepts. This, combined with concerns of child data mining, make it a for-profit company that has no place in Columbia County schools.
Columbia County had signed a contract to bring Panorama to the school district, with a specific intent to implement the Equity and Inclusion question base asking children questions about racial issues. While CCSD claims Panorama was not implemented due to COVID, it was clearly parental involvement and public pressure that caused the contract to be cancelled. Despite Dr. Flynt's claim that Panorama is a positive education partner, we feel that evidence found through our research overwhelmingly indicates otherwise.