For-profit

Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services

Status:

For-profit DEI Consultant

Founded:

2010

Closed:

2020

Principal:

Jay B. Marks

Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services, Inc. was a left-leaning consulting firm that provides diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting services to schools. The firm was founded in 2010 by education activist Jay Marks, who has promoted the idea that students should be made to reflect on their ethnic and cultural identities to make them more receptive to left-progressive ideology. Marks has encouraged schools and other educational institutions to organize their students into “affinity groups.” Marks has also attributed racial disparities in educational outcomes and school disciplinary action rates on alleged systemic racism in the education system and American society. [1] [2]

Marks claims that there is a difference between not being racist and being “antiracist,” a term popularized by radical-left activist Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi condemns individuals who aim to act in a race-blind manner and policies that do not discriminate based on race. Marks has cited Kendi in discussions on purported “white privilege” in the education system and the alleged responsibility of white teachers to promote left-progressive views on race. [3]

The company was among the firms profiled by Parents Defending Education in its “Consultant Report Card.” The group reported that Marks’ consulting firm was dissolved in July 2020. However, PDE also reported that several public-school systems in Michigan have continued to work with Marks on an individual basis since then. [4]

Jay B. Marks

Jay Marks received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in 1990, a master’s degree in special education from the University of Detroit at Mercy in 1995, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University in 2005. He has worked in the public-school systems of Detroit, Michigan and Southfield, Michigan. During his time in Detroit, he worked on revising the curriculum, which he claimed was overly “Eurocentric” and did not adequately reflect the “cultural identities and experiences” of the school district’s predominantly Black student body. He has also worked as a youth mentor for the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, a left-of-center activist group, and as a consultant to the Oakland, Michigan public school system. [5] [6]

Marks teaches a class for parents of students in the Royal Oaks, Michigan public school system as part of the district’s “Parent University” initiative. According to a Detroit local news report from October 2021, the program aims to instill left-progressive race ideology in parents, with the expectation that they will pass the teachings on to their children. [7]

Involvement with Schools

Parents Defending Education has reported that several school districts across the state of Michigan have retained the services of Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc., as well as Jay Marks individually. Clinton Township signed a contract with Marks’ firm in 2018, and West Bloomfield and Oakland have worked with Marks since the summer of 2021. Grand Blanc Township has also previously employed Marks. [8]

References

  1. “Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://defendinged.org/report/jay-b-marks-and-associates-educational-consulting-services-inc/ ^
  2. “Caucus and Affinity Groups.” Racial Equity Tools. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://www.racialequitytools.org/resources/act/strategies/caucus-and-affinity-groups ^
  3. “Podcast: Diversity — Understanding Self And Embracing The Conflict With Dr. Jay Marks.” MichiganVirtual. September 9, 2020. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://michiganvirtual.org/blog/podcast-diversity-understanding-self-and-embracing-the-conflict/ ^
  4. “Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://defendinged.org/report/jay-b-marks-and-associates-educational-consulting-services-inc/ ^
  5. “Jay B. Marks, Ph.D.” National Urban Alliance. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://www.nuatc.org/about-us/mentors/jay-b-marks-ph-d/ ^
  6. “Employee Focus: Jay Marks – Diversity and Equity Consultant.” Oakland Schools Michigan. September 26, 2017. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://oaklandschoolsmi.com/2017/09/26/employee-focus-jay-marks-diversity-and-equity-consultant/ ^
  7. Megan Woods. “Royal Oak Schools launch ‘Parent University’ to educate community on diversity, equity and inclusion topics.” Click On Detroit. October 26, 2021. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2021/10/25/royal-oak-schools-launch-parent-university-to-educate-community-on-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-topics/ ^
  8. “Jay B. Marks and Associates Educational Consulting Services Inc.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed November 14, 2021. https://defendinged.org/report/jay-b-marks-and-associates-educational-consulting-services-inc/ ^
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