This article by Patrick Hughes was published August 28, 2023 on

The Supreme Court might have ended race-based affirmative action in higher education, but as students return to the classroom this fall, the next frontier in the debate over discrimination in education and at work is already at our doorstep in K-12 public schools.

In his majority opinion in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.” The only way to achieve that constitutional imperative is for public school boards and superintendents to take a close look at the way they staff America’s K-12 classrooms.

A new report from the National Opportunity Project identifies widespread discrimination in public school employment practices. After reviewing responses to a litany of public records requests, evaluating job posts, and examining hiring criteria, the National Opportunity Project found that school districts are using divisive social and political ideologies, and in some instances race, to drive hiring decisions.

The biased K-12 hiring practices often stem from the en vogue “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” or DEI, initiatives that have been adopted by school boards and administrators in recent years. Once thought to be prevalent only in higher education, research by the National Opportunity Project demonstrates the trickle-down effect of discriminatory higher education practices; they eventually are adopted by K-12 public schools.

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