A Challenge to the University of Virginia Ed School on the Teaching of K-12 Black Children

by James C. Sherlock

I provided an extensive review in this space of the latest book by Dr. Bettina Love, an assistant professor in the education school of the University of Georgia. She advocates separate but equally funded schools for black children and a radically revised curriculum unique to black children.

Dr. Bettina Love

Readers can see in that review the details of her analysis of the problems in the education of black children in American schools and her incomplete but radical prescriptions for fixing the problems she assesses.

The University of Virginia, my alma mater, brought this woman to my attention by paying Ms. Love to keynote a symposium, not for University faculty or students, but sponsored by the Education School for working K-12 teachers in Virginia.

That, when combined with similar content in many courses at the University, constitutes an endorsement of Ms. Love’s views, not a hearing of them by the University.

I believe that Black parents in Virginia will reject Ms. Love’s views root and branch by very large margins.  Which in turn will raise the question of why is the University doing what it is doing.

So I offer a challenge to the University.

Fund a reputable polling organization:

  1. to accurately portray Ms. Love’s views as she states them; and
  2. survey Black parents of children in public schools in Virginia to find out if they agree or disagree.

Then publish the results, even if some at the University may think they do not know what is best for their children.

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35 responses to “A Challenge to the University of Virginia Ed School on the Teaching of K-12 Black Children

  1. Paying modern-day segregationists like Dr Love to give keynote speeches to K-12 teachers is the kind of issue that Republican gubernatorial hopefuls (as well as GOP hopefuls for other offices) should be highlighting. But they aren’t. Until there is a credible threat to the reigning leftists in this state from the center and center-right there will be no action taken.

    Capt Sherlock – I’d suggest that you cc: Kirk Cox and other Republican “leaders” on these matters. They should be using this as part of their campaign efforts.

    • God knows I’ve tried. Virginia has easily the least organized Republican party in the nation.

      Too many of the old bulls seem to consider themselves a Republican party of one, however. Many of them have staff firewalls up to keep out all but contributors and constituents.

      My own Delegate, Jason Miyares, a first generation American offspring of a Cuban refugee, is an open-minded legislator and a great young leader. So there is hope, at least in considering him.

  2. Baconator with extra cheese

    Great comment. I am baffled that the GOP in VA can’t seem to capitalize on these types of issues. The twit Amanda Chase is too busy making videos where she proclaims she “don’t do Covid”.
    What an absolute waste… I would think the 2021 election for Governor would be a layup with a half descent candidate….

    • From my perspective 1100 miles south of where I raised my family it seems a lost cause until Fairfax/Alex/Arl/Falls Ch purge some of the socialists in residence.

      Alas, at 92 I probably won’t live to see it.

      Good luck, my native commonwealth.

  3. I’m of two minds on the “double down on culture warring” approach for the VA GOP. On the one hand, the Democrats have overplayed their hand, or at the very least have let the social and cultural decadence of the last few decades become so internalized in their circles that they can’t see how creepy this stuff appears. It’s the “local notable” version of DC/NYC bigwigs attending Maria Abramovic performances, and pointing this out at campaign events should help the GOP on the margins.

    On the other hand, this doesn’t actually deviate from the “tax cuts with a side dish of lib-hatin” platform which has seen the GOP march toward permanent minority status in the General Assembly and the US House. In Virginia and nationally, we need a programmatic overhaul of party priorities — changing the specifics of an underperforming platform in some electoral Mad Libs fashion is just optimizing a failed design.

  4. I assume that everyone who finds Love’s position on segregation abhorrent is in favor of busing across district lines.

    • “We should approach racial equity in education as a strict either/or, anchored respectively by Jim Crow and radically unpopular progressive planning from half a century ago.”

      Now that’s what I call serious policy talk!

    • I assume that everyone who believes Brown v The Board should be obviated by a Constitutional amendment formally making school segregation the law of the land would be happy with 100% black schools and 100% non-black schools.

      De-segregation might not be perfect right now but there aren’t two schools in every school district like in the old days.

      Busing should be a last resort. More affordable housing would be better. Redrawing school boundaries to try to increase diversity without gerrymandering those school feeder areas would be another idea. But if SW Virginia is 90+% white then there is only so much minority representation you’ll see in the schools.

  5. You misunderstand me, I think Love’s prescription is wrong on the merits and that her view of the past is utopian nostalgia. I don’t think Brown v. Board should be obviated, but that at a minimum Milliken v. Bradley should be overturned so that Brown can be properly enforced. Affordable housing is a positive thing on its own merits, but when localities will literally put a zoning line down the middle of the street to exclude apartment complexes and townhouse developments it really falls short of being an active solution to the problem.

    Busing and dissolving district boundaries for school eligibility are the two strongest mechanisms for actual school integration in urbanized areas. No one would suggest busing kids from Lee County into Roanoke, but there’s absolutely no reason a county line should keep kids in Ginter Park out of Henrico High School. There’s also no reason we should arrest and press charges against parents for falsifying records to get into a different school zone, the zones shouldn’t exist in the first place.

    But I’m also not going to posture about finding Love’s proposal for de jure segregation horrifying while pretending anything other than vigorous efforts will change de facto segregation. Frankly, the fact that public governor’s schools don’t mandate that a student had to spend three out of the previous four years (excepting military brats) in a public school is unacceptable in that regard. Same for the idea that charter schools get to play by different rules in who they accept, who they can boot out, and when they can stop accepting new students.

    • Egad! A commie! The next thing you’ll say is home, and charter schooled shouldn’t have access to the library and extracurricular activities in the public system. Without some form of accepted segregation, those great cheerleader movies won’t make sense. An all-black cheer squad? How does that happen?

  6. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    All of this is perfect example of why we lost in public education.

  7. Baconator with extra cheese

    Localized demographics can be surprising. I live near an elementary school that is like 94% black students. I seriously didn’t think a school in Africa could be 94% black or 94% anything in this country. This school in in Henrico County…. not even Petersburg, Richmond, DC, or Baltimore.

  8. Another story about Dr. Love? I really don’t care what her views are but she has a right to express them. She’s become a poster girl for the usual trashing of UVA and other schools. I have been hearing that “socialists” or “leftists” have been taking over schools. When I started out on a small daily newspaper in Eastern North Carolina in the 1970s, the conservatives were always whining about UNC and how Chapel Hill was a mini Moscow or Beijing.
    If you want to write more stories, take a harder look at VMI. There’s a major probe going on about systemic racism. One might also ask, why does Virginia need a public military college? Why spend state money when only about half of the graduates actually go into the real military?
    It seems like this is all a throwback to a false and romantic past. Years ago when I worked in Norfolk some of my friends and I took a road trip to Florida. We hit Charleston S.C. at about 11 a.m. We were hungry so we went to McDonald’s. Apparently, the Citadel, another public military school that loves its Southern traditions, was having a prom. All the guys wore spectacular uniforms. The young women were dressed in hoop skirts. I thought I had walked onto the set of “Gone With the Wind.”
    Maybe the best solution would be for VMI to go private. That’s been suggested for UVA for years. Yet the latter school is a jewel for the state. Exactly what VMI’s role is is not clear.

    • The story was a challenge to UVa ed school to poll Black parents to see if they want what Ms. Love and a considerable list of the courses at UVa are selling.

      Do you find that a good idea or a bad idea?

    • UVa, my alma mater, was certainly once a jewel for the state. In the last 10 years it has been running headlong away from its best qualities. That is a pretty big story, and I will continue to follow it.

      I’ve never even visited VMI, so I won’t write about it. Governor Northam is in the process of attacking both of his alma maters, VMI and EVMS. That is pretty interesting from a psychology, perhaps even psychiatry, point of view.

      As for your hostility to military schools, you are very up front about that and welcome to your view.

    • The cultural rot at our universities is important because Higher Education should reinforce the values that promote unity and prosperity, not hate and segregation. And the citizens of Virginia, many of whom have not had the opportunity to get a college degree, should know what their tax dollars are supporting.

      It seems many won’t appreciate what we have in this country until it’s gone.

      “In Hong Kong, antifascists wave American flags, demand freedom and actually fight fascists.”

      “In Portland, “antifascists” burn American flags, demand violence in the name of socialism.”

      -Dan Crenshaw

  9. I meant 11 p.m. Sorry.

  10. I am not hostile to military schools at all. I greatly respect grads of Annapolis, West Point, Air Force and Coast Guard Academies. Those schools are very hard to get into, unlike VMI. I also respect ROTC grads and others. I come from a military family and grew up in places like Camp Lejeune. I have not served in the military. I turned 18 in 1971 and by then it was clear I would not be drafted because Nixon had cut back on troops in Vietnam. As a reporter, I have covered military issues especially those involving the Navy and Coast Guard. I have also covered military matters overseas, notably in Russia. I hope that helps.

    As far as Dr. Love, I have only read her work on links you provided and those I found on Wikie. She may well be a neo-segregationist but in African-American history there was a “Back to Africa” movement. The idea of Black-infused segregation is not new. Poll Black parents all you want. Fine with me. The important issue is not that she is expressing her views, but whether they would ever be adopted as policy.

    • Peter says:
      “I greatly respect grads of Annapolis, West Point, Air Force and Coast Guard Academies.Those schools are very hard to get into, unlike VMI.”

      What a class act.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        VMI has some tough standards. It has become increasingly difficult to gain admissions in the past 15 years. I can recall 3 students in recent years who had to do ROTC at another school and get into VMI via the backdoor the following year.

  11. Captain Jim, One more thing. You say that UVA has been going downhill for the last 10 years. Maybe you should collect a list of its failures. Dr. Love isn’t enough. I was a UVA parent for part of those years and I was always pretty impressed with the school.
    Also, the argument that universities are “too leftist” is hardly new. There have always been free-spirited ones. My college was begun by Unitarians and still has that old feeling. I will even admit that I sometimes found that a bit much (I graduated in 1974). I am not a Southerner but I grew up partly in the South and did not find it knee jerk hateful although there were plenty of problems. The kids from the suburbs of New York and Boston were always holier. I found some of the excess amusing because just a few months after I graduated, Boston underwent a huge desegregation crisis after a court ruling.

    There are plenty of conservative schools, i.e. Liberty, Bob Jones and lots in the Midwest. All the Liberty grads I have worked with have always been good and hard-working and they never tried to convert me.

    • So the Virginians who are politically centrist or conservative and don’t want hard left indoctrination for their children should support UVA with their tax dollars, but send their children to private schools?

    • Your question is fair.

      My answer is that I have examined course descriptions for the Ed school, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Law School in as much detail over the past decade as the rather disorganized and increasingly brief online descriptions will allow.

      Those descriptions are consciously and increasingly anodyne and stripped of things like required reading, textbooks and the writings of the instructors that would help with assessment of the content. But a lot of the individual instructors apparently didn’t get the memo to throw readers off the scent or don’t care. I use the word scent advisedly.

      As example of obfuscation, I used to be able online to find and read the dissertations of UVa Ed School PhD candidates, learn the identity of the dissertation advisor, and track that back to the advisors own writings and course descriptions. I found that a lot of it was really substandard scholarship regardless of the subject or point of view. Many of the dissertations were extensions of the advisor’s own work, a sure sign of begging for a successful dissertation defense on the part of the candidate.

      But none of that is available online now – after I publicized it.

      Against that backdrop of obfuscation, it has nonetheless been relatively easy to track the radical drift over the past decade through those course descriptions.

      • UVA has been busy erasing stuff (burning books and records of all sorts) since Bacon’s Rebellion started getting on their case back in 2013 with articles like this:

        Sullivan’s Risky Bet on STEM
        Posted on April 5, 2013

        by Reed Fawell III

        Teresa Sullivan’s proposed four-year financial plan will forever alter the character and mission of the University of Virginia, undermining the financial model that has enabled the university to thrive. If adopted by the Board of Visitors, the plan will raise student tuition to fund the conversion of the University from a teaching institution to a scientific research institution dependent on the federal government for its future financial success.

        The Sullivan Plan will shift the University’s primary mission from teaching to research, with a primary focus on STEM research. Starting July 1, 2103, the University faculty will spend more of its time, talent, resources and collaboration on independent research. Their efforts will concentrate in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine. Thus, UVa will become Virginia Tech’s great in-state competitor. And it will vie for federal grant and contractor research dollars with the likes of Johns Hopkins, MIT and Stanford.

        This shift of focus will require the university to make major expenditures in heavy infrastructure projects, including the building, purchase and operation of highly complex and sophisticated scientific labs, equipment and buildings. Large additional outlays of funds also will be spent on the training of a whole new generation of scientists, engineers, researchers and other technocrats. Searching for, hiring, training, setting up and putting in place all these new faculty along with their new disciplines and tools will cost the University even more money. In effect, the University is getting into a new and unexplored business with which it has no experience.

        The University will fund this transformation on the backs of the students. Higher tuition will be the primary source of funding to start up, build and, thereafter, enlarge and maintain the STEM concentration. In addition to hiking tuition roughly 20% over four years, she proposes to create a Strategic Investment Fund that will skim monies and borrowing power from University coffers, place that fund outside the control of the Board of Visitors, and vest power over those monies in university administrators and faculty. (For details of the Fund see the last comment to Article “More Big Tuition Hikes ahead for UVa.“)

        But that is not all. President Sullivan is betting the farm on the theory that UVa can win an ever-larger share of dwindling federal research grants. This undertaking is risky, if not downright irresponsible. Let’s look at some facts:

        Monies available for Federal grants are in rapid decline. Given the nation’s financial crisis, the chances are that this decline will be steep and prolonged.
        UVa’s income from federal grants also has been in decline recently. So are its returns on fixed costs from such research. Earlier gains before these declines were largely the result of the Obama administration’s massive stimulus package whose effects are expiring.
        UVa to date has been a minor player in the federal grant business.
        The competition for federal grants, always fierce, will increase as other universities, far more experienced in seeking government-funded research, vie for pieces of the shrinking pie.

        The Strategic Investment Fund, dreamed up by administrators and faculty and controlled by them as well, will deplete the monies available for other needs, putting additional pressure on student tuition and university borrowing generally. If shortfalls occur, the University will be forced to raise student tuition and/or trim other university programs. Under the Sullivan plan, the university administration will be less accountable than ever.


        Now, UVA is running scared, burning up their documents, covering their tracks. UVA is increasingly worried that their party is over, that their jig is up, without huge bail out of taxpayer dollars. And they are right.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Mr. Peter have you ever read up on the Unitarian preacher William Channing? Fascinating philosopher and theologian.

  12. I was going to sue for copyright infringement but then I realized she’s Dr. Love, not the Dr. Of Love…

  13. Reed . In 2019, vmi’s acceptance rate was 51.3 percent, not exactly elite. Yours truly, the class act

  14. Fifty one percent is fifty one percent. That’s a bit easier than uva. Plus you don’t need Congressional support. Reed, facts are facts. And please don’t launch into a super long and tedious tome on the Death of Western Civilization. Thank you!

  15. “And please don’t launch into a super long and tedious tome on the Death of Western Civilization. Thank you!”

    Having shown his colors, and lost, Peter’s knee jerk reaction is to erect his straw man, in order to try to insult and deflect, though of course Western Civilization is at stake. One of reasons why is that leftist ideology, which Peter parrots, is at root racist to it core. And it always has been. History has proven this racism over and over. It started with the French revolution, and it is still busily at work trying to destroy the “white ethos and culture” of VMI, an illusion breed by the ideology in the leftist head, a mirror image of fascism.

  16. Well, Reed, it turns out that VMI will have a new interim chief who is a Black, retired four-star major general. Do you have a problem with that?

    • “Well, Reed, it turns out that VMI will have a new interim chief who is a Black, retired four-star major general. Do you have a problem with that?”

      Boy, are you a transparent racist! You just proved my case hands down. Hence, I didn’t follow up with the obvious assertion that there would not have been a pip out of Peter had VMI been an all black school.

      This is all about race for you, Peter, You are as virulent a racist as Virginia’s governor, and the Washington Post. And it is racist of the cheapest sort, race baiting to buy votes, and keep power, and advantage in the hands of a few.

  17. Western Civilization?? Ya know, we should try that sometime.

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