UPDATE: On Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, when visitors to the Virginia Department of Education go to the website link that the Northam administration had created for the “Virginia Math Pathways Initiative,” they are now greeted with a message that flashes quickly, saying:
The Virginia Department of Education has ended the Virginia Math Pathways Initiative (VMPI) project. Please see the Mathematics Instruction page, if your browser does not refresh.
Many leaders have asserted, “Critical race theory is not taught in Virginia schools.” As we can see with a contract in Loudoun County, Va. (example No. 2), “critical race theory development” is literally taught to teachers in public schools. And as we can see from the other examples here, the pedagogy of critical race theory — using race as a prism through which to view the world and teach subject matters from history to literature, science and math — informs many other cases of instructional time, professional development and public posturing by school and school board officials.
The concept of “intersectionality,” a key idea within critical race theory, becomes a way that issues of identity politics — from Palestinian rights to LGBTQ+ issues — emerge in the K-12 classrooms.
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- Gone as of Jan. 24, 2022.
- The Virginia Department of Education proposed a new “Virginia Math Pathways Initiative” that parents say will decimate mathematics education the state.
- Ideologues of critical race theory, including Ibram X. Kendi, target advanced education, including math and advanced diploma programs, as emblematic of “systemic racism,” and thus they are being targeted by activists around the country for elimination.
Still in the Classroom —
20 19 20 Examples
Feb. 10, 2022 — Fairfax County Public Schools board member Abrar Omeish announced to a near-empty meeting of the school board that she will host a lesson on “critical race theory.” Quoting Malcolm X and describing him as a “human rights activist,” Omeish said, that the student school board representative and she would be “cohosting a conversation about JEDI initiatives, JEDI being the topic of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, specifically addressing the topic of, yeah, it’s coming, critical race theory.”
She continued: “What is it? Um, let’s learn a little more about it. We’ll have some national experts join us on the 23rd for a virtual conversation and answering the community’s questions, with the goal again of bringing understanding by shedding light on what I think has been severely misunderstood…” She ended with another Malcolm X quote.
Activists frequently use students as cover to bring divisive topics to classrooms, using the excuse the initiatives are “student-led.”
- In a message dated June 7, 2020, TJHSST principal Ann N. Bonitatibus told parents and students to check their “privilege” and floated the idea of admissions changes that would have race-based demographic results at the school and a change to the school mascot, the Colonial.
June 26, 2020 — Alexandria Schools releases “Equity for All 2025” plan.
- On June 26, 2020, the Alexandria City School Board approved a five-year strategic plan that they call “a bold and courageous roadmap that is timely and will position ACPS as a national leader in redefining PreK-12 education as a deliberately inclusive and supportive experience where all succeed.”
- The school system’s website features a vertical called “Ensuring Equity,” which has a page on “Teaching Racial Justice,” promoting links to curriculum and articles from outlets including the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” program, the 1619 Project, Bettina Love and Abolitionist Teaching Network’s work, “How Schools Are ‘Spirit Murdering’ Black and Brown Students,” as well as “Explaining Privilege to a Broke White Person,” “Teaching While White” and the 1619 Project.
2020 — Virginia Department of Education overhauled social studies curriculum to be aligned with critical race theory concepts of being new “anti-racist” and “culturally responsible.”
- Colleen Eddy, Fairfax County Public Schools social studies coordinator, said the new curriculum addresses the “overrepresentation of white and Eurocentric history” and the lack of “diverse perspectives” in education.
- She said African-American history “deserves a truer and fuller account.”
- In August 2020, Fairfax County Public Schools paid $20,000 to Ibram Kendi, who promotes critical race theory, to speak to its leaders, including principals and teachers for one hour.
- Henrico County Public Schools has a special program for “Diversity, Equity and Opportunity.” Racial affinity groups of staff met three times over the summer — the groups included one for Black staff, one for teachers of color and one called the “allyship affinity group,” described in part as a “a space to recognize and process the impact of privilege on White educators.”
- Henrico has a program in which students can apply to become “equity ambassadors.”
- In October 2020, the district sponsored a virtual event called, “What LGBTQ+ Students Need: How COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter Movement and the Election are Impacting our Youth,” which was led by the executive director of Side by Side, a youth LGBTQ+ organization in Virginia. This type of activity underscores the “intersectionality” teachings in critical race theory.
- In December 2020, the Fairfax County School Board eliminated the race-blind, merit-based admissions test to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in its effort to decrease the percentage of Asian students at the school and increase the number of Black and Hispanic students. The effort was widely criticized as “racial balancing” and unconstitutional. Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of Coalition of TJ, led by parents, alleging anti-Asian racial discrimination by the school board.
- On Friday, March 19, 2021, parents at America’s No. 1 high school had no idea what their children were about to watch one Friday afternoon as students signed into a special virtual homeroom class on “socio-emotional learning.”
- The students – who are about 70 percent Asian, 10 percent Black, Hispanic and multiracial and 20 percent white — got a lecture on critical race theory, including a video on “intersectionality,” a lecture on how their salsa dancing on international night celebration is cultural “appropriation,” a bizarre discussion on “what stereotypes might you have about your own culture” – all on a slide deck branded with the three yellow stripes of Black Lives Matter, the multimillion dollar activist organization that has a special program, “Black Lives Matter @ Schools.
- In a Dec. 8, 2020, meeting, the Fairfax County School Board Governance Committee discussed revising its “Controversial Issues Policy,” P3280.3, so that teachers would not have to “remain impartial” but rather “take a clear position on matters that may be perceived as controversial in order to affirm the dignity and belonging of all students.”
- It said it would introduce a new “Anti-Bias, Anti-Racial Policy” with the revisions of the “Controversial Issues Policy.”
- Buried in the documents was an explosive document: “Policy Development for Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias Education.
- Alexandria City Public Schools published two pages to their website, one titled “Talking to your Children about Racial Justice” and the other, “Teaching Racial Justice.” According to the school, talking to your children about racial justice includes reading articles by Forbes (“First, Listen. Then, Learn: Anti-Racism Resources For White People“) and watching a video by CNN (Video: CNN and Sesame Street town hall on racism) as well as watching and reading Animation Series: Something Happened In Our Town, a book known to have content such as “cops stick up for each other and they don’t like black men.”
- The school’s “Teaching Racial Justice” page encourages teachers to read the 1619 project and build institutional practices by studying Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance) Anti Bias curriculums.
- The principal of Henrico High Schools seemed to have no reservations about the Abolitionist Teaching movement during an equity summit last summer.
- In an Instagram post that has not been deleted, he proudly shared a photo of his computer screen during a presentation by Dr. Bettina Love, cofounder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network.
- In April 2021, teachers and students at Arlington Public Schools (APS) received free copies of Stamped by author Jason Reynolds, which promotes key ideas from critical race theory.
- Parents Defending Education learned about this after being contacted by a whistleblower in the district.
- On Thursday, May 6, 2021, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand sent the community a biased, unscientific survey that promotes critical race theory. In new documents released through a FOIA request, Parents Defending Education has learned that Fairfax County Public Schools agreed to pay NYC Leadership Academy $49,600 in an “informal competitive process.”
- According to the February 8 purchase order, the school district hired the outside group for the school district’s “Anti-Bias Community Engagement Policy,” including the cost of doing a “survey and policy work.”
- Shockingly, in its response to the FOIA request by Parents Defending Education, FCPS claimed that the March 11 “Notice of Award” is valued at a mere $80,000, even though single line items, such as for a “Customized, Deeper Touch Professional Learning” runs at least $240,000.
- Parents Defending Education has learned that, according to online records, FCPS has paid NYC Leadership Academy an additional $48,500. Here is the link to the vendor payments.
- On May 6, 2021, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand sent parents and community members a biased survey co-written by Leadership Academy, a consulting firm that the school district paid $49,600 to create.
- On Thursday, May 13, 2021, Fairfax County School Board member Abrar Omeish posted a message on her Facebook page, wishing Muslims greetings for the religious holiday of Eid and adding, “Hurts my heart to celebrate while Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now. Apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there.”
- The politicization of the school board with issues related to Israel reveals the many ways that critical race theory’s principle of “intersectionality” is exploited to further divisive political agendas.
- The Virginia Department of Education has quietly crafted “Social and and Emotional Learning” standards, known as “SEL,” in an effort that will clear the way for more indoctrination and activism in classrooms, with the standards “centered on equity” and key concepts of critical race theory as hallmarks of the new learning, according to a copy of draft standards.
- Many parents fear the creation of the new standards will open the door to schools teaching controversial topics to students, like critical race theory. Already, despite having a team that includes 12 Virginia Department of Education staffers, the state’s “SEL Implementation Team” brought in an outside organization — the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning — steeped in critical race theory to craft the policy.’
July 2021 — Baileys Elementary School promoted Woke Kindergarten and Abolitionist Teaching Network
In July 2021, a whistleblower told Parents Defending Education that Baileys Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va., was promoting Woke Kindergarten and Abolitionist Teaching Network, both with controversial, divisive content. The school district said the promotion was an “error” and removed the content.
- In northern Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools is using a “G2 Summer Learning Guide 2021” for second graders, promoting a “Woke Kindergarten” video that has the message, “I feel safe when there are no police,” according to a copy of the guide shared by a whistleblower.
- The guide includes “Reading Goals,” “Writing Goals” and “Word Study Goals.” Then, in “Suggested Texts,” the guide includes, “Safe by Ki (Woke Kindergarten 60 second text),” with a hyperlink to a YouTube video by the creator of “Woke Kindergarten,” reading text that begins, “We all deserve to feel safe.” Woke Kindergarten LLC is a company registered with the Maryland Secretary of State.
- On Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, the Virginia Department of Education posted a webinar in which a speaker trains teachers not to discuss Islamic extremism or “American exceptionalism” while teaching about the 9/11 attacks, guiding them instead to focus on “anti-Muslim racism.”
- Parents in Virginia shared the video with Parents Defending Education, expressing deep concern about the revision of historical facts in the lesson guidelines and the insensitivity of the speaker and the state agency to the trauma and facts of the 9/11 attacks.
- On Sept. 1, 2021, after Parents Defending Education expressed the criticism of parents to the inappropriateness of the 9/11 webinar, the Virginia Department of Education removed the webinar from its official YouTube channel.
- The course borrows on the principle of critical race theory that racializes all issues, including terrorism.
Sept. 9, 2021 — Fairfax County increased five-year contract to $2.4 million to Panorama Education, by government contractor co-founded by son-in-law of U.S. Attorney General, asking intrusive questions abut race and sexuality
- On Sept. 9, 2021, Fairfax County Public Schools signed “Amendment 2,” a new agreement to pay $2,445,300 to Panorama Education to collect confidential data on “all” 180,000+ K-12 Fairfax County Public School children, a $599,640 increase over the already outrageous $1,845,660 contract inked on June 8, 2021. Parents criticized the contract as data mining.
- A parent notified Parents Defending Education in mid-September that Panorama Education was cofounded by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s son-in-law, raising questions about whether Garland has a conflict of interest in issuing a memo in early October targeting parents protesting school board decisions, such as the Panorama Education contract.
- Starting Wednesday, October 6, 2021, Fairfax County Public Schools staffer Rob Kerr taught a regular two-hour, seven-class course, “AC-1608: How to Be an Antiracist Educator,” to school district teachers at Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia, according to a copy of the syllabus that a whistleblower provided Parents Defending Education.
- Despite statements from school district officials and others that critical race theory is not taught in Virginia schools, the course included lessons steeped in the divisive, racially-charged, race-obsessed ideology of critical race theory, including a module: “Exploring and Understanding Whiteness.”
- What’s more, participants had to study the ideas of consultant Glenn Singleton, founder of the Pacific Educational Group Inc., regarding “The Sixth Condition-Let’s Talk About Whiteness,” which argues that “whiteness” is a problem.