by James C. Sherlock
The Governor, limited to a single term, appoints the Virginia Board of Education.
It recently has demonstrated that it is the most powerful of state boards by crafting the most extreme progressive overhaul of a state education system, ever, anywhere.
- Change the entire concept of the missions and functions of the public school system. 9-0 in favor.
- Turn public schools into public services organizations for entire communities? 9-0 in favor.
- Lower educational performance standards? 9-0 in favor.
- Quotas? 9-0 in favor on October 15, 2020
- Merit? 9-0 against.
- “Too many” Asian American students in magnet schools? 9-0 to quota them out.
- “Social-emotional learning?” 9-0 in favor
- Attribute poor academic outcomes for some black children to systemic racism in the school system? 9-0 yes.
- Absenteeism a problem worth addressing in Virginia schools? 9-0 no.
- Forced critical race theory re-education of school employees? 9-0 in favor.
- Critical race theory overhaul of the curriculum and course materials? 9-0 in favor.
- Critical race theory education for newborns? Can’t start too early. 9-0
- Critical Race theory in evaluation of teachers? 9-0 in favor.
- Declare an excess of 30,000 white teachers in the Board of Education Strategic Plan? 9-0 in favor.
- Coax kindergarteners to declare their true transgender selves and keep it from their parents? 9-0 in favor.
When we watch meetings of that Board, we see what is both single-minded unanimity and lack of any concept of public accountability. That is because there is no democratic accountability. And no successfully functioning example of what they have done, so they are making it up from theory as they go along.
To advise them, the BOE in turn appointed panels that are products of the ed schools, BLM and LBGTQ activists, and other progressive interest groups that by their carefully selected membership are guaranteed to tell the Board what they want to hear.
Are the members of the Board so sensitive that they cannot hear voices, not just of dissent, but even offering different and perhaps better ideas of how to do what they have come there determined to do?
It is no secret that I oppose what they have done. But the changes they are making require great care even if one agrees with their ends. Instead, their work is profoundly, embarrassingly sloppy.
Every Virginian should oppose the total lack of give-and-take discussion, the lack of respectful caution and the demonstrable lack of understanding of or even care for the cumulative effects of what they have done.
They have marched Virginia’s parents and children into an unexplored valley blindfolded.
Such a major upheaval in something so integral to peoples lives as the education system should never be made without preparing the public and getting their acceptance.
The Governor did not run on such a platform and the Board chose not to hear any dissent. Anyone claiming otherwise is lying to themselves.
Ninety-five percent of the people of Virginia have no idea that any of this has happened. They will find out by September. Leftists are hoping that is too close to the elections to have an impact. I hope they are wrong.
The public outcries have just begun and are growing. In Northern Virginia of all places. The failure of the Governor and the BOE to develop democratic support for their agenda is very likely to undo it.
But they will not care. The Governor cannot run again.
And the BOE is, after all, appointed.