Local civil-rights groups, including the NAACP, are supporting the Wake County school system's efforts to promote cultural proficiency, saying it will help avoid the problems of "negative stereotypical history and "premature labeling" based on third-grade state test scores.
In a press release Monday, the groups said the training "is a major first step in dealing with long standing issues and concerns related to understanding how race and economics impact children of color in Wake County schools." The groups say "it is important that all educators, school leaders, and administrators who are involved in the direct or indirect education of our children understand their multifaceted cultural backgrounds."
"To be an effective 21st century school system, it is imperative that all of those responsible for education understand the cultural practices and behaviors, norms, beliefs, and familial dynamics, which may indeed differ, not wrong - nor inferior, but simply different, from the culture that the educator is from," according to the press release. "We believe this training is relevant and necessary."
The release was from the Education Justice Alliance, Wake County NAACP, Track My Steps and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens For African American Children.
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The cultural proficiency training has come under fire from some conservatives. Of particular controversy is Wake's use of the book " Cultural Proficiency: A Manual For School Leaders," which promotes the idea that heterosexual white men in America benefit from a system of privilege and entitlement while other groups have been victims of systemic oppression.