ACPS School Year Off to a Rocky Start

Fellow Citizens: This email is packed with information – read carefully! 

Please support Randy Zackrisson, the write-in candidate for school board.  He has to be elected by Samuel Miller voters, but he will be a voice for everyone in the county.

Spread the word, donate your time, and/or contribute as you can with a donation.  Check out interviews and radio podcasts on his website:       

You will read below the reasons he is needed – and please – continue to share information with the community.
• Email
• See the Take Action items on the CARE website for submitting curriculum complaints or writing to the school board
• Ask C.A.R.E. if you have questions about what you can do as a parent
• Speak at the School Board Meeting this Thursday, 9/9 at 6:30 pm (agenda analysis coming via separate email)

First weeks of school prove troubling:

Curriculum impacts from Anti-Racism policy and equity lens:
• 8th Grade Civics: Mandatory racially-focused survey for civics
• 9th Grade Lang. Arts: Reading list has political activism books
• 11th Grade Honors English: Classics lack diversity, not taught

SOL testing results
• Pass rates were: reading 69%, math 54%, science 59%
• Per ACPS in NBC29 story “$6M is going to learning recovery” – but is it? See CARE post for planned spending on vans, counselors and summer programs
SOL results are not on this week’s school board agenda

ACPS seems alarmist regarding COVID
• Quarantining students just in case: Per the policy presentation, students in quarantine are not able to use virtual learning; they must get their assignments from teachers as if they were sick for 10 days
Disabled students denied in-person learning because of masking, and parents were notified two days before the start of school
• ACPS takes the most extreme position if data conflicts (see notes section of Chart 4 of this week’s presentation)

Anti-Racism training mandated for all ACPS staff (see training slides attached)
Viewpoints expressed in the training assert systemic racism, whiteness theories, and that gifted programs are racist; Staff must acknowledge and affirm the content in the training via a survey (see survey content here).

9/11 Watch items:
Never Forget September 11! VDOE is encouraging teachers to replace the facts of 9/11:
• VDOE had a training session for how to teach September 11 lessons that suggested the focus be on racism.  The video was taken offline after national news picked it up, but CARE found a link to the original slide deck and the resources suggested for lesson plans. 
• It is recommended that parents be on the lookout for re-framed narratives of the September 11 attacks on the United States of America
LISTEN THIS FRIDAY at 12pm: CARE member and Veteran NYPD Detective who was on the scene at ground zero offers his perspective of changing narratives on the Schilling Show

Deleveling in Math
• VDOE changing how math is taught: Virginia Math Pathways Initiative (VMPI)
• Math will no longer be leveled or tracked – all levels of learners will be in the same classes
• A C.A.R.E. citizen watched all of five community engagement sessions and captured notes (attached).

Anti-charter school legislative agenda
• Per the official ACPS legislative agenda: “We oppose any constitutional changes that would decrease local control of public education by allowing external authorities to establish a charter school in a community without local school board approval.”
• Practically speaking, this would largely invalidate the point of a charter school if the dysfunctional methods of the public school are mandated for the charter school

Social and Emotional Learning
VDOE is preparing Model Policies for Social and Emotional Learning 

Editorial comment:
One question that comes to mind: Teachers now need to be Culturally Responsive micro-certified, must adhere to all student’s pronouns and any transgender transition plans, must integrate equity-lens practices, must prepare to teach all levels of students at the same time, and must engage students in SEL – how is it possible to also provide a first-rate curriculum as well?