Polarization & Accreditation

Hold my Drink Podcast Blog, Episode 48

As the discussions around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) curricula continue to polarize our education spaces, some parents have taken their kids out of schools to find places where academics is emphasized over subjective values and racial essentialism (which some have called Critical Race Theory). Parents with the means may opt for private school, believing that they have more control over the curriculum and can set their own learning objectives and standards.

Aaron Sibarium, a journalist for the Washington Free Beacon, pulled the curtain back on this myth. As it turns out, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) that sets the accreditation standards for 1600 private schools, including some of the most prestigious, has baked questionable DEI and antiracism ideologies into its accreditation requirements. As if that weren’t enough cause for concern, many DEI consultants, who are making a lucrative living on their programs, are actually a part of NAIS. This would seem not only a conflict of interest, but also to conflict with putting the needs of our students over profit.

A lot of these programs come into the classroom through Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) pedagogy, which makes the issue more troubling – in essence, the social and emotional well-being of our children doesn’t add up to the well-being of the pocketbooks for a few. Unfortunately for parents, these few have a stranglehold on accreditation, and without accreditation, private schools risk their reputations with colleges. If this reputation is in jeopardy, private schools can no longer leverage their university pipelines to legitimize their price tags, effectively silencing parents who go along to get along. This is the perfect muddle which grifters can exploit.

This accreditation cabal doesn’t stop at private schools. Now the American Bar Association (ABA) is also discussing making similar accreditation requirements for law schools.

Of the 250 law schools in the United States, the ABA accredits 199. Try finding a good job if you don’t go to an ABA-accredited school. Once again, Aaron lifts the veil of this move: “When the association sets standards for law schools, it is effectively setting them for the entire legal system: corporate lawyers, criminal prosecutors, state judges, and the Supreme Court justices will all be educated in whatever ideology the association dictates – even if it is indifferent to the rule of law.”

For the most part, I believe that the intentions of DEI and antiracism activists are good, and in theory agree with many of the principles if not their implementation. However, Aaron’s reporting has me wondering if the dogmatic application of antiracism ideology isn’t a smokescreen for a money and power grab that ignores both the well-being of our children and our country’s constitutional foundation.

You can find some of Aaron’s reporting on these issues in our podcast resources below. Have a look and see if you don’t come away with some of the same questions.


In the Hold my Drink — navigating culture with a chaser of civility, and Counterweight podcast, Episode 48, we speak with Aaron Sibarium. Aaron first addressed our country’s growing polarization while covering issues such as “Halloweengate” at Yale. He now carries on what he started as a journalist for the Washington Free Beacon exposing the inner machinations of ideologues in our institutions. He shares with us his investigations on both private school and law school accreditation practices and proposals that jeopardize the free market of ideas, not to mention the rule of law, and the latest ideological policy agenda of the CDC. All discussed with a chaser of civility, of course, and a shot of Fireball whiskey and memories of cold sake.

Hold my Drink welcomes all people with all kinds of beverages to join us as we explore the truths of a chaotic and beautiful world, together.

Find us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or watch the conversation unfold on YouTube, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


What Aaron is Reading & Watching

Ironies of Affirmative Action, David Skrentny

Derry Girls, Netflix

What Jen is Reading & Watching

Why Private Schools Have Gone Woke, Free Beacon, Aaron Sibarium

American Bar Association Poised To Mandate Diversity Training, Affirmative Action at Law Schools, Free Beacon, Aaron Sibarium

How the Centers for Disease Control Went Woke, Free Beacon, Aaron Sibarium

Nine Perfect Strangers, Hulu


Aaron Sibarium is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon.