The State Superintendent defines “inherently divisive concepts” as advancing any ideas in violation of Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that codified the principles of equal protection and nondiscrimination found in the 14th Amendment. There is a convoluted logic in the State Superintendent’s report that suggests that laws that were passed to eliminate discrimination can be used to justify discrimination. Providing early intervention and remediation for children with special needs would be considered unlawful discrimination under the report’s definition.
For example the report recommends rescinding the Department of Education’s Culturally Responsive Website with an explanation that it ”generally promotes academic equity of outcomes versus equity of opportunities for all learners.” The report sounds like the responsibility of government as viewed by the writer is to offer opportunity, but without a responsibility to ensure that all can achieve.
In the recommendation to rescind the Navigating EdEquityVA website, the explanation is that it contains “Resources that permit and advance policies, programs, and activities that promote equitable outcomes for students versus opportunities.” Once again, the report seems to suggest that the obligation of government is to offer opportunities without a responsibility to see that all students can achieve under it. The elimination of these two websites that provide resources for teachers is the electronic equivalent of book burning.
A shocker for me is the recommendation that the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative be rescinded. The program was designed to give more students access to higher math, and it is unclear why it is being rescinded. It looks like anything that deviates from schooling of the 1950s is likely to be sacked in the new administration.I encourage anyone concerned that I might be too harsh in my criticism of the report to review it for yourself at https://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/interim-30-day-report-on-inherently-divisive-concepts.pdf and let me know your reaction at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also let the Governor know your reaction to the report at his tip line email@example.com.