For-profit

Pacific Educational Group

Website:

https://courageousconversation.com/

Location:

San Francisco, California

Type:

For-profit Education Consulting Firm

Founder:

Glenn Singleton

Pacific Educational Group is a left-leaning educational consulting firm formed by Glenn Singleton in the 1990s that contracts with K-12 school districts in 20 states across the United States to provide consulting and training services around racial equity and critical race theory. The company is known for requiring program participants to read books published by Singleton.

Trainings and resources published by the firm have been criticized by right-leaning critics for “humiliating” white teachers, and Singleton’s descriptions of race have been categorized as “bizarre.” The firm was profiled by right-leaning advocacy group Parents Defending Education as one of a number of consulting firms that have been paid by local public-school districts to provide left-leaning “racial equity” training and other programs. Pacific Educational Partners is among the largest of such firms in the United States and has collected millions through taxpayer-funded contracts with school districts in recent years. [1] [2]

Background

Pacific Educational Group was founded by Glenn Singleton in 1992 and began consulting and providing training for local school districts across the country. Singleton’s formation of the company was described as a continuation of the work of early 1990s self-proclaimed “diversity consultant” Jane Elliot, who used tactics described by right-of-center critics as “intimidation.” [3] [4]

By the mid 2000s, Singleton’s training program titled “Courageous Conversations About Race,” which is also the title of a book written by Singleton, had spread to several local school districts across the United States through contracts with the Pacific Education Group including in Cherry Creek, Colorado and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Singleton’s methods included having teachers completing his training “line up with individual signs, each showing numerical scores of their alleged unconscious racism.” [5] [6]

The organization also received criticism for its and Singleton’s consulting work in defining racism for Seattle schools in 2002. Singleton, among other things, “defined ‘individualism’ as a form of ‘cultural racism,’ said that only whites can be racist, and claimed that planning ahead (‘future time orientation’) is a white characteristic that it is racist to expect minorities to exhibit.” Seattle’s use of race in class assignments was challenged in federal court and subsequently the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the school district’s race-based practices in 2007. [7]

The organization continued to grow in both size and influence, and currently has a staff of 23 according to its website. While a major focus of the company remains K-12 education, it has expanded its reach to consult with higher education institutions, corporations, nonprofits, and law enforcement agencies in the United States. The company has also had clients in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. [8]

Parents Defending Education Report

The Pacific Education Group was profiled by right-leaning advocacy group Parents Defending Education in its 2021 “Consultant Report Card,” which studied diversity, equity and inclusion consultants contracted to provide racial equity and theory training and services to public K-12 schools. [9]

Documents collected by Parents Defending Education in 2021 revealed that Pacific Education Group has been hired by local school districts in at least 20 states and the District of Columbia, with more than $1.9 million in recent contracts. A previous research project in 2015 revealed $3.5 million in contracts with school districts from 2010 to 2015. The exact amount of money that the company receives annually is not known since many school districts have not responded to open records requests. Many clients of the company pay the firm six-figure fees with certain districts engaged in multi-year contracts with the firm worth over $1 million. [10]

Notable school districts that are clients of the firm include the California Department of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools, and Fort Worth Public Schools. [11]

References

  1. “Pacific Educational Group.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed October 28, 2021. https://defendinged.org/report/pacific-educational-group-inc/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlOmLBhCHARIsAGiJg7kQZhUq6YMK97CY8Md7bZrFeiODOq8JepfxHo7xCB6bEqRJo8gzuOcaAohvEALw_wcB ^
  2. “About the Consultant Report Card.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed October 28, 2021.   https://defendinged.org/case-study/about-the-consulting-report-card/ ^
  3. Beito, David. “Glenn Singleton’s Cultural Revolution.” George Mason University’s History News Network. Accessed via Wayback Machine October 28, 2021.    https://web.archive.org/web/20070418190409/http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/25726.html ^
  4. Beito, David. “Glenn Singleton on Mark Twain ‘He’s a Racist.’” George Mason University’s History News Network. Accessed via Wayback Machine October 28, 2021.      https://web.archive.org/web/20061013110927/http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/27257.html ^
  5. Beito, David. “Glenn Singleton’s Cultural Revolution.” George Mason University’s History News Network. Accessed via Wayback Machine October 28, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20070418190409/http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/25726.html ^
  6. Beito, David. “Glenn Singleton on Mark Twain ‘He’s a Racist.’” George Mason University’s History News Network. Accessed via Wayback Machine October 28, 2021.      https://web.archive.org/web/20061013110927/http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/27257.html ^
  7. Bader, Hans. “Embarrass Your Employer, While Getting Rich Off of “Diversity” Scams.” Competitive Enterprise Institute. November 16, 2007. Accessed October 28, 2021. https://cei.org/blog/embarrass-your-employer-while-getting-rich-off-of-diversity-scams/ ^
  8. “About Us.” Parents Defending Education.” Accessed October 28, 2021. https://courageousconversation.com/about/ ^
  9. “Pacific Educational Group.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed October 28, 2021.  https://defendinged.org/report/pacific-educational-group-inc/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlOmLBhCHARIsAGiJg7kQZhUq6YMK97CY8Md7bZrFeiODOq8JepfxHo7xCB6bEqRJo8gzuOcaAohvEALw_wcB ^
  10. “Pacific Educational Group.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed October 28, 2021.  https://defendinged.org/report/pacific-educational-group-inc/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlOmLBhCHARIsAGiJg7kQZhUq6YMK97CY8Md7bZrFeiODOq8JepfxHo7xCB6bEqRJo8gzuOcaAohvEALw_wcB ^
  11. “Pacific Educational Group.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed October 28, 2021.  https://defendinged.org/report/pacific-educational-group-inc/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlOmLBhCHARIsAGiJg7kQZhUq6YMK97CY8Md7bZrFeiODOq8JepfxHo7xCB6bEqRJo8gzuOcaAohvEALw_wcB ^
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