What you should know
"You’ve probably never heard of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), but you need to know about it. NAIS is the driving force behind the radical racial and gender programming that has captured most K-12 private schools (called “independent” schools) across the country, particularly the elite schools that feed higher education, journalism, politics, and government." In his article from LegalInsurrection.com, Paul Rossi continues to provide background about NAIS's extreme focus on equity and justice and the scope of its influence over independent schools.
The article goes into more detail about the curriculum changes, declining standards, and homogenization of previously unique independent schools; Paul Rossi promises to share critical updates, guide readers through the impact of DEI, and share how all of this impacts the well-being of children.
Who does NAIS claim to be?
National Association of Independent Schools
NAIS is a "nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,900 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S." On their website, the mission statement reads, "As the largest association of independent schools, NAIS co-creates the future of education by uniting and empowering [its] community. They do this through thought leadership, research, creation and curation of resources, and direct collaboration with education leaders."
NAIS also "provide[s] quality assurance and accountability for the accreditation programs of its independent school member associations" through ICAISA. Accreditation is a credentialing process by which schools verify they meet certain academic and institutional standards.
Who are they really?
Independent Schools are actually dependent schools. There is no independent thinking or operating, particularly as it relates to DEI. These schools depend on insecure parents, horrible public-school alternatives, the college placement lottery, whims and dollars of donors, and most damaging, the harmful accreditation system and the NAIS echo chamber.
Negative and divisive
NAIS has used its position to set a highly politicized social justice agenda and uses the accreditation process to distribute the content to all the “independent” schools who then administer the social justice “plan” through the DEI offices
NAIS doesn’t hold the content they deliver, or those that “teach” it, to any measurable standards — facts and scholarship are blatantly missing, and qualifications/expertise to develop others largely rests on “lived experiences."
Imposing political agendas
NAIS's objectives are clear: to tear down the schools and install social justice activists in leadership positions that can influence and drive school decisions and strategy.
One might ask if the very nature of the accreditation process could potentially create a system where schools feel pressure to adopt the accreditor's priorities in order to benefit from its resources. Most states don’t require independent schools to be accredited.
Accreditor leadership is comprised of current/former heads of school, school board members, and other school administrators, which can create a conflict of interest. It can also create an echo chamber of ideas, which stifles free and diverse thought.
Accreditors play an integral, overarching role in helping schools uphold their missions and create strategic plans for growth. As a result, they hold the power to influence school culture by providing professional development, conferences, speakers, and other valuable resources to their member schools. How do accreditors assess curricular rigor and relevance?
What this means for schools
Schools are not required to be NAIS members, and not all states require schools to be accredited. If schools are to get back on track, one of the first steps may be to defect from NAIS (not renew membership). How do I know if my school is a member of NAIS? Visit the NAIS Directories page to find out.
The duty of trustees
Most Trustees are derelict in their duties. We are amazed at how many Trustees are unaware or in denial of what is happening broadly in education and even at their own schools, which makes them complicit. There must be accountability for bad governance.
Schools have prioritized social justice “plans” over training teachers to help students develop and excel at the core skills needed to succeed. Have standards been lowered? DEI offices are “hammers looking for nails.” Eliminating DEI offices would free up resources to ensure that all students reach their potential.
Encourage viewpoint diversity
Schools (and accreditors) need to take a principled stand in favor of free speech and encourage diversity of thought. One way to accomplish this is by adopting a free speech policy. Schools must create, promote, and honor their own versions of the Chicago Statement (see excerpt below), which will compel institutions to protect the free expression rights of students, faculty, staff, and parents. The Chicago Statement is a free speech policy statement produced by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago in January 2015.
“Because “the school” is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the “school” community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. . . [I]t is not the proper role of the “school” to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.” 
—Excerpt from the Chicago Statement
Student workshops and professional development
Schools must commit to engaging presenters who represent diverse viewpoints to speak to faculty, parents, and students. Students and educators need to hear from a variety of voices to provide much-needed balance. Schools need to prioritize professional development in this area, so teachers have the tools to facilitate class discussions and promote thinking, civility, humility, and intellectual honesty.
Want to learn more?
What is accreditation?
Break down the basics of the accreditation process on our Accreditation 101 page.