NYC’s top schools seek next generation of woke educators

Many of New York City’s once-vaunted private schools are hunting for the next generation of woke educators to preach the gospel of anti-racism and critical race theory, a review of job applications by The Post shows.

Leading the way is Ethical Culture Fieldston School, which is on the market for a ballet instructor “committed to challenging Western dance forms and the hierarchical and pedagogical practices that often center whiteness in dance classrooms and on stages,” according to a job description posted to the school’s website.

Even science at Fieldston — a Bronx institution where tuition is $55,510 a year — has not been spared the progressive mandate. A posting seeking an upper school biology teacher said applicants should have “an understanding of and commitment to cultural competency, and how to support a diverse student population, especially through teaching more inclusive science curricula.”

Fieldston Ethical Culture High School
Fieldston Ethical Culture School posted a job for a ballet instructor who is “committed to challenging Western dance forms and the hierarchical and pedagogical practices that often center whiteness in dance classrooms and on stages.”
Brigitte Stelzer for NY Post

A rep for Fieldston did not respond to a request asking for clarification about what an “inclusive science curricula” was.

STEM subjects face a similar wokening at Grace Church School — $57,330 a year —  in downtown Manhattan, where wanted Math and Science Center consultants must have a “commitment to antiracism and accessibility of student education for diverse learners.”

One of the responsibilities listed for a secretary position at the $58,350-a-year Riverdale Country School is to proofread report cards “for proper use of pronouns.”

Critical race theory and so-called anti-racism curricula propagate “a worldview that believes that everything in public and private life must be considered with respect to racial identities,” said Jonathan Butcher, an education fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

“It’s not just a question of are we appropriately discussing race in schools, it is a call to action to make students be ever alert and constantly searching for evidence that may or may not be there or some form of discrimination everywhere their lives,” he added. “It’s a recipe for a very cynical, pessimistic and defeatist attitude.”

Several school job applications indicated racial indoctrination should begin at as young an age as possible.

Riverdale’s opening for a Lower School associate teacher stresses the need for applicants “committed to work in the areas of equity, justice, and inclusion.”

Riverdale Country School
Riverdale is looking for a Lower School associate teacher who is “committed to work in the areas of equity, justice, and inclusion.”
Alamy Stock Photo

The $58,505-a-year Trinity School on the Upper West Side made similar demands of applicants for their elementary teachers:

“Candidates need … to create an equitable classroom culture inclusive of varied student experiences as well as an awareness of how race, gender, and other aspects of identity manifest themselves in the early childhood classroom,” a job description reads. The school says it is “expressly committed to becoming an anti-racist institution.”

A rep for Trinity defended its standards.

“We have a diverse student body and on a daily basis we want to make sure that all students in every classroom feel safe and loved,” spokesman Kevin Ramsey told The Post.

Trinity School
Trinity School wants an elementary teacher who can “create an equitable classroom culture.”
Helayne Seidman for NY Post

The woke hiring drive extends not just to teachers but upper management. In December, 2020 Spence head of school Bodie Brizendine announced her plans to retire before the next school year. Her final months, however, were marred by scandal when students were shown a racist video deriding white people, and Brizendine was forced to apologize.

Spence — $57,385 — enlisted the help of Carney Sandoe, an education staffing agency, to find Brizendine’s replacement. An application deck put together by the company leaned heavily into having the right racial credentials.

“Spence girls begin their learning by exploring their worlds through the anti-bias
framework of identity, diversity, justice and action,” it read.

Some parents have grumbled that Brizendine’s replacement, Felicia Wilks — a pronoun-wielding former diversity director — is less qualified than past Spence leaders.

Felicia Wilks
Felicia Wilks
Spence School

“She doesn’t bring the academic rigor required for Spence,” said one frustrated mom, who noted Wilks had no prior experience as a head of school.

“You graduate and all you can talk about is race and justice, but can you do math and science?” said the parent.

Wilks, with degrees from Columbia and Johns Hopkins universities, served as assistant head of school and Upper School director at the Lakeside School.

In a statement Spence defended their incoming leader as the best choice.

“Felicia Wilks has more than two decades of experience in K-12 education, serving as teacher, department chair, diversity director, upper school head and assistant head of school,” a rep for the school told The Post. “Ms. Wilks was unanimously recommended by the Search Committee to the Board of Trustees who also unanimously approved her appointment.”

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