Loudoun County Schools Threaten the Future of Minority Students

by James C. Sherlock

Insignia, Loudon County Public Schools

The Virginia Star reports this morning that Loudon County Public Schools has embraced Critical Race Theory (CRT). That move directly threatens the futures of its minority students.  

Ignoring CRT’s Marxist origins, CRT put into practice as a system of pedagogy in American schools has no track record. Seattle Public Schools is aswirl with it, but did not get started before COVID struck so has no results. CRT is so thoroughly pessimistic that no child would be happy in such a school.

There is an alternative available that terrifies the Critical Race Theory/Critical Pedagogy crowd. The pedagogy of New York City-based K-12 Success Academies has proven to not only educate poor minority students, but to enable them to exceed the results on standardized tests of every school district in the state of New York.

Success Academies student bodies are currently 94% minority. The students love going to school. As do the teachers. Parents fight to get their children into Success Academies and unite to fight to support them against political opposition. See a video that shows that spirit.

Success Academies exposes as dangerous nonsense the core arguments of critical theorists

  • that minority students cannot succeed in traditional school environments; and
  • that the entire system of education needs to be upended — “abolished” — to insure that minority students learn.

If Loudoun County Public Schools were serious about educating minority children, it would offer to all of its students the pedagogy of Success Academies. 

Success Academies engage their elementary school students with what they term joyful rigor. 

“At Success Academy, we want our scholars to fall in love with learning — and joyful rigor is our formula for achieving off-the-charts engagement. We capture our scholars’ imaginations by introducing them to fascinating subject matter and pressing them to do the intellectual heavy lifting, constantly asking them “why?” “how can you prove that?” and “what is the evidence?” 

“We want our scholars to recognize and embrace the power of their own ideas, so teachers limit direct instruction and focus on encouraging independent thinking and problem solving in their classrooms. Our scholars spend most of their day exploring, analyzing, discussing, and executing their way through powerful texts, complex math problems, intriguing science experiments, winning chess strategies, and inspiring works of art.” 

Critical pedagogues and critical race theorists reject Success Academies’ approach, not only deeming the methodology as somehow unjust and racist, but also closing their eyes and characterizing the phenomenal results achieved by Success Academies students on standardized tests as unattainable by minority children. 

Indeed, critical theorists reject standardized tests as racist artifacts that minority children are doomed to fail. 

The post-Modern pessimism embedded in critical pedagogy and critical race theory are so thoroughly debunked by the performance of minority children in Success Academies that Marxist critical theory will be driven from the field of educational discourse everywhere both are offered. 

In denying Loudoun students into the Success Academies methodology, the School Board fails both minority children and their parents for whom it presents itself as champion. 

Success Academy’s Robertson Center is its center of teacher education. 

“Robertson Center brings together custom-designed training facilities with Success Academy’s first-ever K-8 lab school. Eliminating the traditional divide between professional development and classroom practice, the set-up offers a one-of-a-kind backdrop for the pursuit of extraordinary schools.” 

“Something happens in a room full of educators. Ideas get bigger, barriers shrink, defy-the-odds notions feel downright within reach. We believe in these rooms—in the power of bringing together our country’s fiercest believers in the capacity of kids to help them set it free. All programs offered free of charge.”3 

Explore some of the ideas at Robertson Center. 

Robertson Center offers professional development, educator well-being, thought starters, parent programs, and school impact initiatives. 

The Success Academy Education Institute provides:

“open access to the broad architecture and singular components of the Success Academy model. We are sharing best practices, resources, and training with educators across the nation to help many more children gain access to great schools.”4 

There is a clear opportunity for Loudoun County Schools to partner with Success Academies, Robertson Center and the Education Institute to replicate the pedagogy of Success Academies. 

As we have seen, the infrastructure of such cooperation is already in place in New York. 

The Loudoun County School Board would win over students, teachers and parents with the first description of the proven success of the new and proven direction. 

If the Board opposes such a transition, they will expose themselves as more wed to doctrine than to the well being of children.

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25 responses to “Loudoun County Schools Threaten the Future of Minority Students

  1. Of course, as you and I know, Critical Race Theory is not about results. It’s not even about justice. It’s about power. The current regime in Loudoun County has no interest in your proposal because inviting Success Academies to the county would be tantamount to admitting everything they believe is wrong.

    • But at least now they may have to address the total conflict between CRT and the results achieved by Success Academies.

      I have sent this essay to the Virginia Star, given them permission to reprint it and recommended they attempt to get comments from the Chairman of the School Board and the Superintendent.

      We’ll see what happens.

    • An interesting and informative book comparing the effectiveness of charter schools (like Success Academy) to the effectiveness of New York City public schools is Thomas Sowell, Charter Schools and Their Enemies (Basic Books, 2020). The book also discusses the hostility to charter schools, and the various ways that opponents of charter schools try to hamper their efforts.

  2. I keep on having a problem with the idea that “Marxism” (or whatever interpretation) is “bad” for education in general. No, I would not want it to guide my government. Didn’t work out so well in the USSR. But they did have strong primary schools. Kids knew language, math, science and art better than American students. Send one here and they often were advanced two years in grades. I found that Soviet kids were much more familiar with world literature although books could be banned. They are also are here by LEFT and RIGHT.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Mr. Peter they were willing to separate achievers from those who did not meet the standards. That kind of thinking sailed long ago in Virginia with the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.

    • What critical race theorists and critical pedagogues want to do here in America is destroy our system of education and replace it with one that assumes black children cannot learn “white” information to white standards.

      I find that not only outrageously racist, but also clearly counterfactual. I offered the example of Success Academies which with a 94% minority student body produced by far the best scores on the standardized tests in the entire state. So the CRT crowd’s baseline theory is proven false.

      Is that not sufficient reason to prevent them from taking over Loudoun County schools?

  3. This may be incredibly racist but just about every Soviet kid — russian, Ukrainian, Kazakh, Uzbek, Azeri, Georgian, Kanti-Manti and so on wrote perfect cursive. Ever wonder why infiltrating our computers is a cakewalk? Imperialism? Damned right.

  4. Baconator with extra cheese

    I wonder what happened to the kids in the USSR who talked back to teachers, didn’t show up, didn’t show up with work done, etc?
    I bet their success was on par with success brought on by Tiger moms.
    Not sure that will fly with the restorative justice and everyone gets a trophy crowd.

  5. My point is to teach them. All of them. Do a good job. Don’t sidetrack with a lot of Marxist BS. As I have written, I fail to see how Critical Race Theory is so different than what we went through in the 1950s and 1960s. Your message seems to be: Marxism is spreading everywhere. Maybe. But who’s Marxism? Lenin’s? Mao’s? Ho Chi Minh’s? Castro’s? Ortega’s? Gorbachev’s? Suslov’s? Stalin’s?

    • “My point is to teach them. All of them”. That is what Success Academies has accomplished with unmatched results year after year for 15 years. That is my point Peter.

      Now if you think what Success Academies is teaching their students is wrong, that means that you may agree with the critical theory philosophers that the last 400 years of Western Civilization has been wrongheaded. Freedom is wrongheaded. Rationalism is wrongheaded. Capitalism is wrongheaded. Personal agency is wrongheaded. Those are among the main tenets of critical theory.

      If you side with critical theory, then you will agree with them that the current education system must be abolished and rebuilt to teach Marxist approved truth. (One exception: Marx never said black children can’t learn. That is an invention of American critical race theorists.) But those same CRT merchants agree with the rest of the critical theory doctrine.

      I don’t.

  6. Soviet Tiger Moms got the job done. Physical punishment. Not that I advocate that. Just raising the point.

  7. And, daughter no 1 went to pre school
    At Pencil Factory No. 2 in Moscow. Didn’t seem to hurt.

  8. Baconator with extra cheese

    No sh!t.
    When I was a boy my mom never hesitated to smack me in the mouth even in public (still fairly common in the area of Appalachia where I was raised). I was a very well-behaved child in front of adults…. not advocating it either but peace does come in the face of superior firepower.
    50 years later and I still have a habit of putting my hands in my pockets when I walk in a nice store.

  9. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Sing to the Motherland! As far national anthem’s go it is very good. I like the version in the movie Red October! You could argue that November 2nd is very much about this.

  10. JWWV,
    Gagarin was not the first man in space. Vladimir ilyushin was. A few days before. He landed in China and was held for a year. Gagarin was a coverup.

    • Peter, I hope you never tried to drink with the Russians when you were there. They had the reputation as the most profound alcoholics on the planet. I never saw it up close, but we used to detect air defense radars on their northern flank go down on a regular basis. Turned out the soldiers were drinking the antifreeze.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      I never knew that story. It would be good for the history books to get the hard proof out there to the public. I believe you though.

  11. One summer we went to a local beach. Very pleasant. But a woman, DUI, backed into our car and punctured the radiator. She was honest and paid for it. I went the local mechanics and the boss was on vacation. Every morning I watched them mix a big carton of orange juice with a big bottle of vodka. Repairs took forever. Finally I drove away. They forgotten to hook up the radiator. I found tools in the engine for months. Captain Jim. Good luck with that Sukhoi!

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Wished I could have been there for you Mr. Peter. One roll of duct tape and I would have had you back on the road. I did that trick for a busted radiator on the Al-Can Highway in the Yukon Territory.

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