When it comes to conflicts of interest, Attorney General Merrick Garland appears to have a huge one.
Merrick's daughter, Rebecca Garland, is married to the co-founder of an education resource company that pushes critical race theory - which angry parents across the country are protesting. Taking matters into his own hands, AG Garland tapped the FBI on Monday to huddle with local leaders to address a "disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence" against teachers and school board members.
As the Conservative Treehouse writes:
Well, well, well… This is interesting. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently instructed the FBI to begin investigating parents who confront school board administrators over Critical Race Theory indoctrination material. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a memorandum to the FBI instructing them to initiate investigations of any parent attending a local school board meeting who might be viewed as confrontational, intimidating or harassing.
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s daughter is Rebecca Garland. In 2018 Rebecca Garland married Xan Tanner [LINK]. Mr. Xan Tanner is the current co-founder of a controversial education service company called Panorama Education. [LINK and LINK] Panorama Education is the “social learning” resource material provider to school districts and teachers that teach Critical Race Theory.
Conflict of interest much?
Yes, the Attorney General is instructing the FBI to investigate parents who might pose a financial threat to the business of his daughter’s husband.
Screen-grabs and citations below:
[ZH: More on Panorama]
In June, several meeting attendees and newly elected board members at the Moore County School District in North Carolina pushed back against continuing their contract with Panorama - with one calling it an "indoctrination platform" which aims to mold students into "social justice warriors."
Those claims are based more on the company’s webinars and virtual workshops for teachers than the surveys Moore County Schools plans to conduct over the three-year term of the contract. The district would pay $184,300 for Panorama’s services over that time period.
Before starting in on their business agenda Monday night, the board heard from about 10 speakers who opposed the contract extension. At the core of the debate is resistance to the idea that public schools might teach Critical Race Theory: in short, the hypothesis that racism has persisted in American institutions throughout history to the detriment of minorities and still does.
Board members Robert Levy and David Hensley pointed to one of the company’s leaders having done economic development work in Cuba, and online webinars dealing with things like “equity, care, and connection” and “dismantling white supremacy” to suggest that Panorama is a vehicle for what Levy termed “really hardcore Critical Race Theory.” -The Pilot
In May, the Johnston County Report - a local North Carolina outlet - did a deep dive on Panorama in an article entitled "Activists In Our Schools: Big Data" in which they described Panorama as a "Big Data company that collects and performs analytics. Data Analytics takes in raw data and formulates it to make process decisions."
I came across a Twitter post from Johnston County Public School (JCPS) Student Service Counseling Office – Social Emotional Learning (SEL). It was a graphic with a bunch of buzzwords like Restorative Justice, Adult SEL, Staff Equity Committees, and Panorama. All of the terms were familiar to me, but not Panorama. I had no idea what it meant or just how deep the well would go with that one word.
From a 2013 interview in Inc. “Feuer says it was the promise of Panorama’s social impact, not its financial return, that first caught Zuckerberg’s eye.” Zuckerberg’s foundation called Startup:Education infused $4 million dollars into Panorama in 2013. Panorama has found multiple social change and educational technology equity partners including; Spark Capital a San Francisco Bay area company- capital funders behind Twitter and Tumblr, Emerson Collective a Palo Alto company self described as a social change organization, and Owl Ventures, the world’s largest holder of education technology with $1.2 billion in assets- based out of Silicon Valley founded in 2014. By 2017 Panorama Education had raised $32 million in venture capital to data mine children and implement social transformation into schools.
The rolling out of Panorama as an educational tool that measured feelings, observable behaviors, and thought perception was timed perfectly with the implementation of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which replaced No Child Left Behind. The Obama era Act gave a new opening to measure emotions as an academic category. Under ESSA federal public school funding was more able to be funneled directly to school counseling programs. The schools had money and Panorama was ready to provide service.
Panorama charges between $500 to $3,000 per school for their basic data tools and Playbook. Just the annual survey screener for the Chapel Hill- Carrboro City Schools was $29,000 for a one year contract. Through a records request it was disclosed in 2020-2021 JCPS paid $214,000 for a one year contract with Panorama Education.
Meanwhile, Panorama officially took a 'stand against systemic racism' in the wake of the George Floyd murder - in which they say "Decisively: Black people matter. Black students matter. Black educators matter. Black teammates matter. Black lives matter."
"We attack racism, discrimination, and oppression, and work towards justice, equality, and opportunity," the statement continues.
And for any parent who has a problem with this, daddy Garland just activated the FBI.