The NWEA, which says it provides map-testing assessments to Roman Catholic dioceses and almost two thousand Catholic schools across the country, features articles on its website encouraging educators to help students to “come out” and promoting gender ideology to children.
Formerly known as the Northwest Evaluation Association, the NWEA boasts of developing Pre-K through 12th grade assessments (Measure of Academic Progress or MAP tests) trusted by educators in almost 10,000 schools, districts, and education agencies in 145 countries.
The organization’s website also notes that it partners with over 1,900 Catholic schools: “Nearly 400,000 Catholic school students benefit from MAP Growth data,” the NWEA says in a resource sheet. “Catholic schools nationwide in 84 dioceses trust NWEA for assessments.”
Literature on the organization’s website—written by NWEA staff—pushing gender ideology, drag queens, and other left-wing ideological content suggests that Catholic dioceses and schools might want to take a closer look at their MAP-testing assessments.
Jeremy Tate, the founder and CEO of the Classic Learning Test (CLT), told The Daily Signal that his organization has been in contact with “numerous Catholic school administrators who are now refusing to administer NWEA MAPS assessments to their students. “
“Although MAPS claims that assessments used for Catholic schools will be free from this ideology, administrators are still concerned about administering assessments from a company that recommends ways to introduce drag to five-year olds,” he said.
“In response to the increasingly ideological agendas of many standardized testing companies, CLT has launched a new suite of standardized assessments for third-sixth graders featuring time-tested children’s literature that is removed from the current hot button topics,” Tate added.
The NWEA did not respond to requests for comment for this story. On its policy page, the organization promises to “fight for bold, courageous policy changes that will move the needle for students and educators.”
“It’s unclear from the statement what sorts of ‘policy changes’ NWEA is working toward,” the Lepanto Institute pointed out, “but an examination of their grants, articles, and partnerships indicates that NWEA is fostering the promotion of homosexual and transgender ideologies.”
The Lepanto Institute, which first examined the NWEA’s relationship with gender ideology, reports that it has confirmed that at least 52 Catholic dioceses use the organization’s testing.
One NWEA article on “supporting LGBTQ students” cites Republican-led legislation that bans educators from formal instruction about sex and gender for kids before warning: “These are kids who desperately need to understand that the world is better because they’re a part of it.”
“You have the chance to be an adult in their lives—possibly the only adult in their lives—who helps them see that,” the article adds.
That same article tells educators that if a child confides that he or she identifies as LGBTQ+, the proper response to the child is: “Thank you for trusting me, I’m so proud of you.” Not once does the article mention the word parent, father or mother.
NWEA senior writer Erin Ryan recommends 20 LGBTQ+ books for K-12 readers to peruse during Pride Month in another article published on the organization’s website. The books recommended for children in kindergarten through third grade (as young as five years old) feature gay families, pride parades, gay animals, and transgender children.
The NWEA has apparently removed one particularly objectionable recommendation for preschool children from its website: “The Hips on the Drag Queen go Swish Swish Swish.”
That book focuses on drag queens and is apparently set to the tune of the song, “the wheels on the bus go round and round.” Leftist political commentator and drag queen “Lil Miss Hot Mess” wrote the book.
“I wrote this book because I wanted everyone to get to experience the magic of drag and to get a little practice shaking their hips or shimmying their shoulders to know how we can feel fabulous inside of our own bodies,” the drag queen said in a episode of “Let’s Learn,” which aired on PBS.
“Being a drag queen is about being bold, shining bright, and showing a little bit of bravery, being willing to step outside the box and to dance to our own beat sometimes.” the drag queen adds.
The NWEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal explaining why it removed this book, which includes drag queen characters named “Frida Bea Mee,” “Stinkerbelle,” “Pina Buttah-Geleé,” “Cinderfella,” “Ella Menopipi,” and more.
The book’s colorful illustrations, created by Olga de Dios, depict drag queens, some with facial hair, dancing in exotic outfits.
This NWEA article also recommends young adult books, including a book about a gay Iranian American high schooler diving into a physical relationship with another boy, a book about a teenaged girl’s relationship with another girl that begins in a lesbian bar, “A Queer History of the United States for Young People,” and more.
In another NWEA article, a gay NWEA project manager encourages educators to “invite students to share how they prefer to be addressed in the classroom.”
“This can include their preferred names and pronouns,” Nathan Breeden writes. “Not everyone will take you up on the pronouns part, and that’s OK. The point is to build a foundation of respect through the validation of each student’s identity, showing that each individual has equal value. In the weeks to come, hold yourself and others accountable for learning and using everyone’s preferred names and pronouns. This includes learning the proper pronunciation of names that are less familiar to you.”
NWEA describes itself as”a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency—and provide insights to help tailor instruction.”
“For 40 years, NWEA has developed Pre-K–12 assessments and professional learning offerings to help advance all students along their optimal learning paths,” the organization’s website says. “Our tools are trusted by educators in more than 9,500 schools, districts, and education agencies in 145 countries.”
This story has been updated to reflect that the Lepanto Institute first covered the NWEA’s relationship with Catholic schools.
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