Thank You For Standing Up For Equity In Education
Using a lottery for educational opportunities is the closest we can get to promoting equity in education. Evidence-based research suggests that other methods cannot help increase the enrollment of underrepresented children in special academic programs. Admission programs that use any criteria other than a student's interest and random selection are always open to preparations only families of privilege can afford. Sadly, the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Board chooses to adopt instead a "holistic" approach that can still easily be gamed by savvy parents and the preparation industry. Furthermore, such move ignores the disparity that is already present in elementary and middle school advanced academic programs. There is, however, hope, as four members are in favor of the equitable approach. With time, these four beacons may be able to enlighten the rest of the board in the future. This blog is proud to have supported Ricardy Anderson, Karen Keys Gamarra, Abrar Omeish, and Karl Vincent Frisch.
It is not surprising that the above four voted for the lottery. Two are black women who clearly see that we have to do a lot more to correct the inequity inside Fairfax county public schools. The other two are clearly progressive and can be counted to protect the rights of every student. We still have a long way to go since there are eight members who do not see what is truly necessary to bring Thomas Jefferson High School within the reach of Black, Hispanic, and socio-economic disadvantaged children. Former school board member Pat Hynes says in a comment on social media: "White people in power should not trust their own instincts on questions of race - they should center in their decision-making the voices from harmed communities. Eight board members did not do that last night and it is fair and right to call them on it publicly. This board has many more decisions ahead that will address systemic racism in our school system." I certainly agree.