Education

New York City Prep School Tosses 62-Page ‘Unreliable’ Climate Survey After Parent Backlash

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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An elite New York City prep school administered, and then retracted, a controversial 62-page diversity “climate survey” to students in grades 5-12, according to emails obtained by a concerned parents group.

Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn administered a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging climate survey that asked students about their sexual identity and orientation, political affiliations, parent income, and their personal beliefs on “social identity theory,” according to the survey obtained by Parents Defending Education.

The survey was not anonymous as it required students to input their email addresses, according to Parents Defending Education.

Students answered questions on a five-point scale ranging from “really disagree” to “really agree,” according to the survey.

Questions included, “Most people think that people from my racial/ethnic group are as smart as people of other racial/ethnic groups,” “Women have fewer chances to get ahead,” and “Teachers teach about racial inequality in the United States.”

Other questions such as, “What gender best describes you?” included responses such as “gender variant.” Another question asking students about their sexual orientation included the response, “pansexual/omnisexual.”

Another question asked whether the student’s parents “made a financial donation to Poly Prep” and asked kids to report how much money their parents earn.

Poly Prep opted to retract the survey in May after learning that the data was “unreliable” and parents expressed their frustrations, according to an email reportedly sent to parents by Poly Prep’s Head of School Audrius Barzdukas.

“After reviewing our process, we learned of multiple issues with the survey including ones that made the data unreliable,” the email read, in part. “Those issues included final edits not being included in the version that was administered and significant variability in how the survey was facilitated. All the data have been permanently deleted.”

Parents Defending Education said it spoke with parents that reported their “discomfort with their children being expected to divulge personal information that they may not have, may not understand, and may not want to share.”

Nicole Neily, the founder and president of Parents Defending Education, told the Daily Caller she credits the prep school’s rollback of the survey to parents speaking out.

“When parents speak up, schools are forced to listen. Poly Prep shows what parents can achieve when they unite against woke administrations,” Neily said. “The parent movement is alive and well, and I expect to see many stories like this in the year to come.”

The survey was administered by Dr. Omari Keeles, Poly Prep’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. According to Barzdukas’ email, Keeles worked with researchers from his alma mater at the University of Michigan and Columbia University. (RELATED: Education Honchos Swapped Race-Essentialism Buzzwords To Avoid Public Pushback)

Keeles’ 2020 Ph.D. dissertation gives insight into his thoughts on diversity, equity, and inclusion and the role it plays in schools. His dissertation is titled, “Class Matters: Social Class Identity Profiles of Black Students and Implications for Psychological Adjustment to Predominantly White Institutions.”

“Students who reported high levels of social class pride reported more adaptive psychological adjustment to the [predominantly white institution] context,” the dissertation reads.

Poly Prep’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page promises that all classes, including arts and athletics, beginning in nurseries will include lessons on “inclusion and equity.”

“From Nursery to Grade 12, inclusion and equity are woven through our curricula and across our academic, arts, and athletics programs,” the website reads. “In addition to explicitly addressing historical and current systems of oppression and racism, we center our student voices and support restorative justice approaches to discipline.”

Poly Prep Country Day School did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.