The Daily Wire has a must-read article about Seattle’s woke indoctrination czar, whose policies have been a model for innumerable other progressive school districts, perhaps including the school district your child attends:
Spend enough time studying the “racial equity” and “ethnic studies” programs sweeping school districts across the nation and you’ll find that they are following in the footsteps, on a several-year delay, of one of America’s most progressive cities: Seattle.
It’s worth examining, then, how all that worked out in Seattle. Despite decades of the most aggressive equity programs anyone could ask for, Seattle’s racial disparities are among the worst in the nation – and they’re getting worse, not better.
At the forefront of Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) initiatives was Tracy Castro-Gill, until recently its director of ethnic studies, who represented herself as a fierce Chicana who overcame homelessness and was willing to take on racism no matter who she had to battle, turning schools into vehicles for social change.
Castro-Gill, it turned out, was a perennially unhappy toxic liar, one who misrepresented her background to the point that her own father compared her to Rachel Dolezal, and who was ultimately pushed out of her job for repeated misconduct. A focus on racial oppression did not create resiliency, but rather despondency, with Castro-Gill and three other racial justice leaders going on paid leave from SPS for mental health issues in 2019 alone.
As Castro-Gill used children for politics in the workplace, her personal life also raised questions about the costs that can incur. She married a convicted child molester and moved her young daughter in with him. Then, her previous ex-husband told me, she pressured her child, who had serious mental impairments, to become gender-nonbinary.
The academic achievement of Seattle’s youth plummeted as she implemented initiatives like replacing math instruction with courses on “power and oppression.” But in this world, there was no such thing as failing: Those gaps were used to justify still more jobs and efforts like hers. The following book excerpt is the never-before-told story of America’s first “woke” school system.
The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak tells the sad story of how back in 1997, a child molester named Brian Gill got out of a Washington state prison after serving time for abusing his eight-year-old cousin in multiple incidents. Gill then spent his days playing a computer game called Second Life, where players create idealized images of themselves and interact with others’ artificial personas. While playing, he met a woman named Tracy, who was fourteen years his junior. Tracy’s avatar became the “submissive” to Brian’s “dominant” in violence-tinged online sex games.
In the real world, Tracy Hammond was a California homemaker, a stay-at-home mom of three kids whose husband was the family’s provider. She and her husband Ron had been together since high school. One morning at 3 a.m., Ron woke up and found his wife sitting in front of her computer, immersed in the game. “You’re the only man that ever earned my respect,” he watched her type to Brian. Soon after, Tracy made plans to go to Vegas with Brian. A few days later, Ron filed for divorce.
Tracy moved to Seattle, where in 2013, she got a master’s degree in education and became a substitute teacher. The Seattle region is one of the most wealthy and left-wing in all of America, but in Tracy’s twisted mind, “white supremacy” was omnipresent. The reason she was “so angry all of the time,” she said, was that “our students are dying from violence, because they are dismissed regularly in their classrooms.” She was tired, she said, but “figured out why. I am under attack. All women, but especially womxn of color, are under attack.”
She adopted a new name, and a new excuse for a lifetime of unhappiness. “My name is Tracy Castro-Gill,” she declared. “I am Xicana, chingona, and pissed off.” In this world, she was the hero. Teachers gravitated toward her as she laid out an inspiring story. “I’m angry, because when I was in high school, I wasn’t encouraged to succeed… it was all Shakespeare and Whiteness,” she said.
In her fictional self-account, Castro-Gill grew up in poverty and was homeless. Her father, she falsely claimed, was a Latino who betrayed his identity by being what she called a “U.S. nationalist,” making their home life “intolerable.” To avoid “assimilation” and show that she was authentically Latino, she falsely claimed, Castro-Gill had joined a gang and began using drugs.
None of this was true, as her father Rick Castro told the Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak. He and his wife had provided for Tracy a safe, prosperous, middle-class upbringing. Rick eventually made over $100,000 a year, while his wife was an attentive, stay-at-home mom.
“Everything since [Tracy] moved to Seattle has been one big lie,” Rick explained. “It hurts to be the subject of a complete fabrication. . . . She never said a word about any of this racial stuff back then.”
Rick, who is half Hispanic, said Tracy’s closest link to Hispanic culture may be how she is reminiscent of Don Quixote, the fictional warrior who attacked windmills while under the delusion that he was doing battle with fierce giants. “My mom was white . . . my dad was born here in Long Beach,” Rick noted. “You’ve seen pictures of her, she’s basically white. How are they racist against you? She can’t speak Spanish. She’s got a last name of Gill. . . . Remember Rachel Dolezal, that lady a few years ago who pretended to be black? That’s exactly what this is,” he said, referring to a white lady who became an NAACP officer while claiming to be black, in Washington’s eastern city of Spokane.
Just like Rachel Dolezal, Castro-Gill turned her fake identity into a job— in Tracy Castro-Gill’s case, a position of great power and influence. Seattle’s school system appointed her to the position of Ethnic Studies Program Manager, paying her $93,000 a year to teach kids about the pervasiveness of racism. She described herself as a “a far-left anarchist.”
Her racialized blueprint for education mirrored her fabricated history of joining a gang to evade cultural “assimilation.” Under her tutelage, the Seattle school system — located in a region with two of America’s biggest high-tech companies, Amazon and Microsoft — decided to partly replace the math curriculum with “math ethnic studies.” To pass, students must explain how math is “used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.” They must “explain how math dictates economic oppression,” and answer “Why/how does [sic] data-driven processes prevent liberation?”
She was teaching that using variables in algorithms was not for minorities, while big multinational corporations a few miles away were paying thousands of computer programmers over $100,000 per year to do just that.
In spring 2018, the math ethnic studies program she promoted was piloted in six schools. The school board had ordered the implementation of the pilot program to shrink the achievement gap, writing “We affirm our belief that the integration and addition of ethnic studies into the education of Seattle Public Schools’ students can have a positive impact on eliminating opportunity gaps….We direct that the Superintendent incorporate ethnic studies . . . as a high-leverage gap eliminating strategy.”
On the next state mathematics examination, black kids’ performance at those schools fell drastically. At one pilot school, John Muir Elementary, blacks’ achievement had been rising steadily every year, but those years of gains were wiped out in a single year, with blacks’ passage rate dropping from 28% to under 18% by the very the next school year. At another pilot school, white students’ pass rates also plunged, from 60% all the way down to 36%.
Faced with these results, Castro-Gill declared she never had any intention of shrinking the achievement gap. Gaps, she claimed, are good, because they guarantee that we focus on race. “Closing ‘Achievement/Opportunity’ gaps is a Western way of thinking about education,” she said. “We should never ‘close’ that gap because it provides space for reflection and growth.” It also justified jobs like hers.
Despite the obvious failure of the pilot, the school district decided it would “prioritize ethnic studies . . . [and] help integrate ethnic studies into all curriculum, content areas, and grade levels.” It became popular among students to skip Algebra II, an expected course for those planning to go to college, and instead take an easier course covering “power & oppression.”
In 2014, when her daughter was nine years old, Castro-Gill went back to court to seek custody of her daughter from her ex-husband, and won. She moved her daughter in with her and Brian, the convicted child molester, in their tiny house. She put her daughter in the zany Seattle schools. By the time her daughter was twelve, Castro-Gill was pushing literature about transgenderism on her daughter, who had been diagnosed to have a “serious emotional disturbance.” Her daughter, under this influence, came to believe she was “nonbinary.”