The National Association of School Psychologists, Part 1: Advancing DEI, CRT, and Anti-Racism
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, disseminates information to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), anti-racism, and critical race theory (CRT), as well as gender ideology in minors. NASP is also active in advocacy and public policy initiatives that have an impact on state and federal regulations and laws.
This is the first of three articles describing the initiatives, policies, and publications that NASP promotes to its members and makes available to the public.
DEI and Anti-Racism
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) says its membership is made up of “more than 25,000 school psychologists, graduate students, and related professionals” in the U.S. and worldwide. This number exemplifies the degree of impact and influence that school psychologists have on students in a variety of educational settings.
Among its professional position statements is a commitment to providing guidance on topics such as “racial and ethnic disproportionality in education” and “prejudice, discrimination, and racism.” These positions are repeatedly reflected in NASP’s member resources, policy statements, and publications that it posts to its website. NASP members are provided these statements as “the official policy” of the organization, which outline the organization’s DEI and anti-racism agenda.
In a March 3, 2023 statement, NASP declared that certain groups are engaging in “censorship” by voicing opposition to material in curricula that is rooted in critical race theory (CRT) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), calling this opposition a “smokescreen” that impedes education. This language is typical from the activists who advocate for the adoption of divisive DEI strategies in colleges and universities in place of policies that support meritocracy and academic excellence.
The organization is critical of efforts to eliminate coursework on these topics, stating, “Indoctrinating students to believe a false history that erases the experiences of large segments of our society benefits no one.”
NASP affirmed the DEI and anti-racism issues by saying:
NASP firmly believes that censorship has no place in our education system. NASP strongly supports the inclusion of developmentally appropriate discussion and formal curricula on critical topics including systemic racism, equity, cultural responsiveness, diversity, social-emotional learning, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Critical thinking and respectful dialogue about important and often complex topics are necessary to equip students with the information and ability to understand and thoughtfully examine the facts that shape an increasingly diverse society. As such, we are highly concerned about efforts to restrict discussion of these same concepts, especially within our higher education system.
“NASP is unequivocally committed to ensuring the ability of students and educators,” the statement concluded, “to engage in critical dialogue necessary to dismantle systemic racism, combat prejudice and discrimination, and advance equity.”
To disseminate the DEI and anti-racism message, NASP provides members with multiple resources on “Critical Race Theory,” implicit bias, and “Race and Privilege.” One of its Resources & Publications pages is rife with articles, books, videos, and podcast episodes in support of “Diversity & Social Justice.” NASP states that the issues of “race, privilege, prejudice, and power” must be addressed “to bring about positive change and unity,” and says these matters are “front and center.”
In The Importance of Addressing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Schools, NASP defends critical race theory as a “well-established” policy that has been subjected to “demonization and purposeful misrepresentation” in discussions that use “divisive rhetoric” to describe it. Definitions of critical race theory in this statement include:
- CRT recognizes that race is a social construct and race does not reflect biological differences among people (e.g., differences in intelligence, physical ability)
- CRT includes an understanding that systemic racism is part of American history and still exists in modern society
- CRT identifies and examines the ways in which White supremacy and racism permeate systems today
- CRT is a framework to examine the inequities in existing structures, policies, and laws in order to rebuild them equitably
In its list of “corrections to misinformation about CRT,” NASP says that “CRT does not posit that all White individuals are racist and all racially minoritized individuals are oppressed” and “CRT is not a way to enact racism and discrimination against White students.” While NASP may be eager to inform its members of what CRT isn’t, it’s important to understand what CRT is: An ideology that blames all of society’s problems on racism. CRT says equality must be replaced by equity, and inequities are caused by the mysterious force of “implicit bias.”
The concept of implicit bias is promoted as “a foundation for school psychologists” in the NASP resources, and is a topic that organizational entities such as the Social Justice Task Force addresses as being “relevant to the equitable practice of school psychology.” This is a long-standing tenet of the organization, and NASP provides multiple additional resources for school psychologists to “affirm diversity and difference while continually examining assumptions of power and privilege.” For example, the Social Justice Task Force created two lesson plans (one for use with students, one for staff) “to guide conversations and activities related to race and privilege.” In case school psychologists require further programming to “influence systems change,” NASP encourages and praises them for engaging in “courageous conversations” that continue to bang the drum of implicit bias and a commitment “to advancing social justice and equity as a profession.”
“NASP Guidance” includes a position statement on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism that continues to refer to implicit bias and terms like “modern symbolic racism.” This means that certain individuals are denying that racial inequality continues to exist “while contributing to discrimination and aversive racism through in-group favoritism for the dominant racial group.” Predictably, a requirement for implicit bias training is among the recommendations for school psychologists to take, as well as promoting “systems change and equitable alternatives” to combat racism and discrimination.
This ideological campaign continues into the continuing education process at the organization. NASP imposes woke indoctrination on its members in the form of mandatory continuing professional development training.
NEXT: The National Association of School Psychologists: Continual Professional Indoctrination
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