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How to Stop Woke Takeover of Education—Goldwater & Manhattan Institute’s Plan

January 18, 2023

Last week, the University of Southern California (USC) declared the word “field” racially problematic and insufficiently “inclusive.” This week, the Washington Examiner reported “a leading diversity, equity, and inclusion director was caught on tape admitting that he sells illegal lesson plans that teach critical race theory to young students.” Throughout the country, these benign-sounding principles—“diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI)—are regularly being weaponized across K-12 and higher education to impose a radical, racialized worldview intolerant of political dissent or traditional American notions like “equality before the law.”

But now, the tide is about to turn. The Goldwater Institute released a new suite of legislative reforms this week to help liberate colleges and universities from the radical leftwing takeover of DEI dogma. Indeed, partnering with Christopher Rufo and Ilya Shapiro of the Manhattan Institute, the Goldwater Institute has introduced a package of legislative solutions to dismantle the ideological domination of DEI programming over higher education.

The first of these model policies, “Abolish DEI Bureaucracies,” would immediately stop public colleges and universities from expending taxpayer or other resources on bloated, ideologically driven DEI offices, which siphon off, for instance, as much as $18 million every year from students at the University of Michigan alone.

The legislative package also builds on the prior work of the Goldwater Institute, the James G. Martin Center, and Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar Stanley Kurtz to “Prohibit Political Coercion” currently being implemented throughout higher education via ideologically discriminatory hiring practices.

In addition, by preventing mandatory “diversity trainings” and reaffirming states’ commitments to upholding the equal protection of the law, the legislative models will rein in public universities’ attempts to discriminate in hiring or admissions on the basis of race or force ideological indoctrination upon those already within the institution.

The Goldwater Institute and Manhattan Institute have both championed the implementation of Academic Transparency to shine a light on the radical politicization of K-12 programming in American schools. It is essential that policymakers also address much of the root cause of this problem as well: the radicalization of college graduates (including future teachers) by DEI activists in higher education.

State lawmakers across the country must act to adopt both Academic Transparency and the elimination of discriminatory DEI practices. Our states, our students, and our institutions will be better for it.



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