Questioning school board’s role in staff development
By John Green Bealeton
I am encouraged by school Superintendent David Jeck’s letter published Sept. 9. According to his letter, I have created a “teachable moment.” That’s great! It’s exactly what we need, an open dialogue on education and what’s going on in the classrooms and our schools.
We all agree we need to do better in educating our students. Education changes lives for the better. But what do we mean by education? Is it social conformity or is it giving our students the necessary tools to be successful in today’s complex world?
The family is the basic building block of society. And, today the family is under attack from all sides. The family can shape how a child will do in school. Educators freely admit their biggest problems come from children of nonfunctioning families. No longer is a man and a woman living together and raising their children considered normal.
There is wide disparity in students entering our schools. Educators know this. It makes their job more difficult. The government’s answer is to take over education at ever lower ages. The Biden administration wants to make pre-school mandatory, paid for by government. Potentially this just makes the government more powerful. What we need is a stronger values system, not more government.
Dr. Jeck brought us Deep Equity. He says only 80 teachers received Deep Equity training. That’s because the four-day course was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic. Dr. Jeck said the course was voluntary. When your boss allows you to leave you students for four days to attend training most people see this is something they should do. Dr. Jeck wants us to understand Deep Equity was a professional development program. It’s not.
Dr. Jeck brought us Deep Equity and then said it has not existed in Fauquier County since January 2020. It’s hard to understand what he means. That does not fit with the May 9, 2019, Fauquier Times article titled “Equity Training Being Implemented In All County Schools.” That was from the interview with Nikki Jenkins, Equity Team leader.
Two things trouble me most:
• Why was the PATH Foundation involved in this and not the school board? And why are two senior members of Fauquier County Public Schools also members of the PATH Foundation Board of Directors? I would think that was a conflict of interest.
• Dr. Jeck justifies leaving the school board out of the picture on the grounds Deep Equity was just a professional development activity. It appears to be much more than that.
If Dr. Jeck is right ,why do we need a school Board? Curriculum is determined by Virginia Department of Education. And programs like Deep Equity, Critical Race Theory, Equality Act, Social Emotional Learning, woke or transgenderism are just professional development activities. What’s the school board’s job?
Editor’s note: Members of the PATH Foundation board disclose potential conflicts of interest at the start of each meeting and recuse themselves from discussion and voting on those matters.