Bowman’s Folly: New York Dem Appears To Have Plagiarized From ‘CRT: An Introduction’ For Dissertation

Bowman's dissertation argues “Black, Latinx, and poor White children have been historically oppressed throughout American history”
UNITED STATES - JUNE 22: Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., arrives to the U.S. Capitol before the House voted to send an articles of impeachment resolution against President Joe Biden to committees on Thursday, June 22, 2023.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Jamaal Bowman, the controversial New York congressman, often appeals to his work as a former school principal and his Ed.D. in education as the basis for his policy positions.

But, according to our analysis, Bowman’s primary academic work — his 2019 dissertation, “Community Schools: The Perceptions and Practices that Foster Broad-Based Collaboration among Leaders with the Community School Ecosystem” — is riddled with basic errors, failures of logic, and multiple instances of plagiarism. (Bowman did not return a request for comment.)

Bowman has boasted about the paper on social media and considers it formative to his political orientation. When asked recently about his political views, Bowman said, “I identify as an educator, and as a Black man in America. But my policies align with those of a socialist, so I guess that makes me a socialist.”

The dissertation, which Bowman completed at Manhattanville College, says that “Black, Latinx, and poor White children have been historically oppressed throughout American history,” and as recompense makes an argument for “community schools,” a concept developed by the Brazilian Marxist pedagogist Paulo Freire, in which schools would be expanded to provide full-time government services for every aspect of society, including for adults.

The statistical work in the paper is limited, and the method primarily consisted of “qualitative” research, with Bowman interviewing 13 school administrators, activists, and parents. Each was immediately placed in a demographic box and assigned the role of oppressor or oppressed. For example, Bowman wrote that “Ms. Melendez, a parent leader at Manny Ramirez High School, was born in the Dominican Republican [sic]” and is a true member of the New York community, while “Ms. Warren, who identified racially as White, discussed being very aware of being ‘a visitor in someone else [sic] community all the time.’”

Bowman’s community schools model holds that the government, not parents, is responsible for children’s success. Bowman quotes one school official saying, “Families don’t have any deficits. If a mother is collecting welfare, so what?”

Bowman’s paper relies on large leaps of logic. His limited quantitative research contradicts his basic argument in favor of community schools.

For example, Bowman looked at the outcome of community schools in New York City, referring to it with a pseudonym: “Quantitatively, the aggregate data from the Unified City School Survey were uploaded into Microsoft Wxcel [sic] for data analysis.” Even though the community schools advocated by Bowman were supposed to bring the community together, in his own data, they fared worse than regular schools. “Non-Community Schools achieved a statistically significant higher mean in the area of Strong Family-Community Ties as measured by the 2017 Unified City School Survey,” Bowman wrote.

Bowman shrugged this contradiction aside, saying “it is especially challenging for the Unified City Schools to foster Strong Family-Community Ties” because it is “culturally diverse.” Instead of questioning his premise, he argued that “additional opportunities for professional learning in the area of Strong Family-Community Ties within the Community School ecosystem could help improve the achievement of Community Schools in this category.”

Bowman’s paper also appears to include multiple instances of plagiarism.

In one passage, Bowman explains critical race theory, one of his theoretical methods, by copying from another author’s summary of the 2001 book, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. He takes the passages from R. Rolon-Dow without quotation marks, as required by academic authors. In the copied passage, Bowman merely substitutes “Latino/Latina” with “Latinx/Latina,” following the latest academic fashion, although it appears that he misunderstood the purpose of the “x” noun ending, which is to remove gendered language like “Latina.” He also inserts a typo by changing “the intersection between race/ethnicity and caring” to “the intersection between race/ethnicity caring.”

Though he credits a string of authors in parenthesis, those citations are also copied from Rolon-Dow, with her name also tacked on the end.

On multiple other occasions, Bowman summarizes other research by copying and pasting without quotation marks, instead of paraphrasing the passages to show that he has an independent understanding of the concepts. For example:

In another instance, when describing a study by other researchers, he copies verbatim, again without quotations:

The paper provides little in the way of meaningful advances in scholarship. “As a pragmatic study, no attempt was made here to generalize these data. The researcher studied the phenomenon of collaboration among leaders within the Community School ecosystem within its natural setting. This study reported based simply on the results found,” it concluded.

The general observation amounts to a form of racial reductionism, separating people into identity categories and judging them according to their ancestry.

Bowman implied that minority students learn better from minority educators—a contention that would, if true, amount to advocating for segregated schools. Being “just like the children she served” allowed “a Black female principal” to “enact[] Critical Care as part of her transformational leadership,” the paper said, referring to the version of Critical Theory that Bowman describes deploying on schoolchildren.

Bowman suggested that it may be more important for an educator to be oppressed than competent. “One can conclude that personal experiences, as opposed to professional learning or training, creates the perceptions and practices that were trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and community-driven,” Bowman wrote, adding that “exemplary academic performance or professional development” was less important than “personal experiences” such as growing up as a fellow member of the minority “community.”

This is the kind of dismal pseudo-scholarship that drives much of education and, unfortunately, an increasing share of political life. It should be scrutinized, as should its authors.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Bowman’s Folly: New York Dem Appears To Have Plagiarized From ‘CRT: An Introduction’ For Dissertation