by James A. Bacon
Governor Ralph Northam has announced his appointees to an advisory committee tasked with making recommendations about adopting “culturally relevant and inclusive education practices” in Virginia’s public schools.
The committee will be led by three co-chairs: Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Herndon, who introduced legislation to set up the committee; Francisco Durán, Arlington County school superintendent; and Andrew Daire, dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education.
“Inclusive and culturally relevant learning environments are vital to creating equitable pathways to success for all Virginians,” Northam said in a press release announcing the appointments. (See the full list here.) “The work of this committee will advance our ongoing efforts to tell the complete and accurate story of Virginia’s complex past, improve our history standards, and give educators opportunities to engage in important conversations and lessons with their students.”
“When we teach an honest narrative of our past, students better understand their place in history and are equipped to work toward a better society,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “This committee will build on the work of the Commission on African American History Education to ensure the content taught in Virginia classrooms is accurate and inclusive of perspectives which have been historically marginalized.”
According to the Governor’s press release, the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Practices Committee will develop recommendations for:
- Updating the History and Social Science Standards of Learning;
- Creating Board of Education guidelines for local school division staff, including teachers and school counselors, on age-appropriate anti-bias education for students; and
- Infuse “culturally relevant and inclusive education practices” into teacher preparation programs, teacher licensure, and licensure renewal.
Ignore the P.R. pabulum in the statements by Northam and Qarni. The committee is charged with issuing recommendations for overhauling school curricula, teacher guidelines, and teacher licensure, and it will be guided by the principles of Critical Race Theory (CRT), a philosophy that attributes unequal educational outcomes between racial/ethnic groups to white privilege/fragility and systemic racism.
If you doubt where this committee is heading, just read co-chair Daire’s “Statement addressing systemic racism” at VCU to get a sense of his ideological commitment to CRT. Says he: “We will continue to work toward better understanding implicit and institutional bias along with white fragility while we provide the opportunities for our school’s leadership to become anti-racist leaders.”
In the nomenclature of the left, “anti-racism” does not mean opposing racism, it means implementing reverse racism in order to rectify past injustices to minorities.
Bacon’s bottom line: This initiative will do nothing whatsoever to improve the academic performance of minority children in Virginia, and it will do nothing whatsoever to close the racial achievement gap. Insofar as it distracts from the real problems afflicting minority children, actions stemming from committee recommendations likely will make the achievement gap worse. But it will likely succeed in doing one thing: It will transform Virginia public schools into centers for leftist indoctrination.There are currently no comments highlighted.