September 22, 2023
Oregon Division of Schooling criticized for ‘choosing winners and losers,’ prioritizing racial ideology

The Oregon Division of Schooling (ODE) has positioned a heavy emphasis on range, fairness and inclusion, however critics of the division mentioned that has taken focus off college students and lecturers, and quantities to choosing winners and losers. 

“The Oregon Division of Schooling fosters fairness and excellence for each learner by means of collaboration with educators, companions and communities,” the division’s web site reads. 

The Division of Schooling’s “Fairness Lens,” featured prominently on the web site, is designed to assist “educators and decision-makers acknowledge institutional and systemic obstacles and discriminatory practices” inside the training system. One doc on the division’s web site lists questions to contemplate when allocating sources, reminiscent of what obstacles exist to equitable outcomes, and the way racial and ethnic information is being collected.


Oregon Division of Schooling criticized for ‘choosing winners and losers,’ prioritizing racial ideology

A bunch of women sit and speak at a college desk.

One former ODE staffer mentioned this was primarily advantage signaling amongst division management. 

“Whereas ODE leaders appear to make use of each alternative to advantage sign internally and externally, their main objectives appear to contain lining their very own pockets and making certain their pals and allies exterior of ODE get profitable contracts with little to no accountability,” the previous ODE worker, who requested to stay nameless, instructed Fox Information Digital. 

Marc Thielman, a former faculty superintendent who ran for governor in Oregon, mentioned the system has begun choosing winners and losers. 

“What we’ve is a system that has misplaced deal with its elementary function, and it’s choosing and selecting winners and losers. Every little thing about it’s designed to undermine the system because it exists,” Thielman instructed Fox Information Digital. 

Kid wearing school bag when crossing the street on her way to school

Child sporting faculty bag when crossing the road on her technique to faculty

The Educator Development Council inside the ODE is “aimed toward serving to Oregon obtain high-quality, well-supported and culturally-responsive educators in each classroom.” Shadiin Garcia beforehand served as the chief director of the Educator Development Council, underneath which a Racial Justice Institute (RJI) was created to “present culturally and racially affirming studying environments for educators,” in response to the RJI web site.  

The Institute for Democratic Schooling in America (IDEA), a company primarily based out of Mississippi, was finally awarded a $2 million contract from the Schooling Development Council to create the RJI, which would offer skilled improvement “for as much as 600 racially, ethnically, or linguistically numerous educators throughout the Pre-Okay to 12 Faculty System.”

In line with Garcia’s LinkedIn, she later left the ODE, and is now the Govt Vice President on the Metropolitan Group, together with being a Coordinator and Lead Facilitator of the Racial Justice Institute for IDEA.


Daniel Ramirez served because the interim government director of the ODE Educator Development Council from September 2020 to July 2021, in response to his LinkedIn. Whereas on the Division of Schooling, Ramirez served as the purpose of contact for a contract with Neighborhood Design Companions, which was expanded from $545,000 to greater than $1.6 million. Lots of of 1000’s of {dollars} paid to Neighborhood Design Companions for this contract have been authorised by Ramirez. 

Ramirez subsequently left the Division of Schooling to work for Neighborhood Design Companions, the place he started in July 2021 in response to his LinkedIn profile. The Neighborhood Design Companions web site says the group is “devoted to a variety of social justice points reminiscent of accessing postsecondary choices, diversifying the educating workforce, and advancing scholar success by eradicating systemic obstacles.”

Happy school children going to school 

Pleased faculty youngsters going to highschool 
(istock )

Carmen Urbina is the proprietor of the Oregon Heart for Schooling Fairness (OCEE), and concurrently labored because the Deputy Director of the ODE. In her place on the Division of Schooling, Urbaina signed off on a “Taking it Up” coaching to be delivered to ODE employees. The coaching was developed by Urbina’s firm, OCEE, and delivered by a earlier proprietor of OCEE. The coaching doc offered to the ODE employees goes as far as to listing “Particular Appreciation to the Oregon Heart for Schooling Fairness.” 

In a contract request kind that questioned whether or not the contract might “profit the folks concerned,” Urbina listed no battle of curiosity; nonetheless, a spokesperson for the Division of Schooling mentioned that out of an “abundance of warning,” Urbina did declare the potential battle of curiosity to them. 

The “Taking it Up” coaching itself was a two-day seminar, centered on “the institutionalized racist obstacles that hinder elimination of the racial achievement disparities at school.”  


A spokesperson for the ODE, Marc Siegel, mentioned in all these instances, the procurement course of was accomplished “with integrity and adherence to state legal guidelines and practices.” He additionally famous that the division labored to align with Gov. Kate Brown’s Govt Order 2018-3 “Selling Range and Inclusion Alternatives for Oregon Minority-Owned, Ladies-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned, and Rising Small Companies” inside the course of. 

Thielman mentioned the Division of Schooling’s fairness priorities are filtering right down to Okay-12 faculties and affecting training. 

“ODE has been working exhausting to purge conservatives from the business basically,” Thielman mentioned, encouraging dad and mom to drag their youngsters from public faculty if they will. “There is no such thing as a illustration for a conservative mum or dad, it doesn’t occur.” 

Ultimately, Thielman mentioned, your entire funding for the Division of Schooling is devoted to pushing racial ideology. 

Altering the construction of the division would take an entire overhaul of management, Thielman mentioned. “ODE is nothing however a political group of the governor,” he added.  

Image of school lockers

Picture of faculty lockers

Siegel defended the deal with fairness inside ODE. 

“It’s clear that racial fairness have to be addressed to assist each learner. We all know there are long-standing inequities in our programs which have led to gaps in outcomes for college kids of colour,” he instructed Fox Information Digital. “We do emphasize culturally responsive skilled studying and an inclusive curriculum that’s reflective of all communities in our state. There’s each an mental and moral foundation for centering fairness in skilled studying and educational supplies, primarily so ODE can meet its accountability to create the situations during which each scholar can attain their full potential.”


“There’s a lengthy and painful historical past of racial bias in training. College students are prepared for programs and establishments to vary. Making a simply and equitable studying atmosphere that embraces the historical past and experiences of its learners is just not solely good for college kids, but in addition for our communities and our shared future,” he continued.

The Metropolitan Group, IDEA and Neighborhood Design Companions didn’t reply to Fox Information Digital’s request for remark. 

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