A Back Seat for Academics in Today’s FCPS

Valerie Waddelove | Fairfax County Times

Ironic, isn’t it, that student SAT test scores have declined by 27 points, while schools were looking at the shiny new object called equity. Really it’s no surprise that the FCPS Board rammed through the long-awaited Equity Policy at their June 26 Board meeting in the wee hours of the morning. Yet, all parents want is for their children to be well-educated in the core curriculum. Parents do not want schools to take over their parenting duties. Over the past five years test scores have been declining, and it is no coincidence that it has been five years since the Board endorsed the One Fairfax Social and Equity Policy in November 2017. 

The Board and Administration have labored over this for two years and it took them until June 20 to produce the final document for public perusal — no time for meaningful comments and discussion. Then the Board reached a foregone conclusion last week making the still-vague Equity Policy a part of the Strategic Plan for Fairfax County Public Schools.

Concerned citizens have done their best to be at meetings, online and in person, to write to Dr. Michelle Reid and Board members, to express their reservations about the Equity Policy and other actions that have been taken in the name of diversity and social emotional learning. At an in person meeting in mid-March at least 20 respectfully vocal parents and community members addressed specific problems, offered suggestions, and asked relevant questions. Some people shared that they have paid to file FOIA requests to discover DEI information which should have been free and transparent.

Yes, the rubber-stamped Equity Policy will reign in our FCPS schools. Yes, there is an SEL curriculum, and yes CRT, perhaps under the guise of other terms, is affecting teaching in our schools. A new School Board is desperately needed if were are going to see the changes most parents want, and a return to the focus on academic excellence.

This letter from Valerie Waddelove was first published by the Fairfax County Times on July 7, 2023.

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