WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina's largest school district is focusing on a new type of training when it comes to student equality in the classroom.
Cultural proficiency is designed to help Wake County Schools' mostly white workforce relate to an increasingly diverse student body.
At a training session in January, a group of Wake County assistant principals took "A Survey of Privilege and Entitlement." It asked them to rank their societal power.
The activity incorporates the idea that heterosexual white men in America have an advantage and may appear insensitive to culturally diverse students.
Dr. Ruth Steidinger, Wake's senior director of academic program and support, said the 30-minute cultural proficiency training is one small part of a robust six-day training to help shape effective teachers.
"Part of creating an environment for learning is to have an appreciation of the learners sitting in front of you which our teachers do, but how do we raise their awareness with all aspects?" she said.
Terry Stoops, former teacher and director of education research studies for the conservative John Locke Foundation believes the school district could find another way to help its educators.
"The idea that all teachers to some degree need this type of training I think is absurd and really is an insult to teachers themselves because it assumes that teachers don't already have these sensibilities or skills in the first place," said Stoops.
Dr. Steidinger said that was never the intention of the training and that it encompasses much more than race.
She said the training is meant to support teachers and ensure they do not have low expectations for any student.
"We all have a responsibility, an understanding and appreciation of the cultures of all the people in our system. It was never intended to pigeonhole one group. Never," said Dr. Steidinger.
School administrators will share the entire training framework with Wake County teachers this fall.
Each principal will have the option of using as much or as little of the course as they choose.