Letter: Charles Smith, Leesburg

Editor: Fair and impartial are two words that describe equity. It’s a simple concept. For most people it means treating everyone the same. That’s why the themes and recommendations recently presented to the School Board miss the mark.

They highlight race at every twist and turn, promoting a consciousness that borders on fixation. They implicate it in academic performance gaps, neglecting any issues of personal motivation. But what’s really concerning is the belief equity can be achieved when we perpetually label people as victims.

No statement condemning hatred is going to fix the damage inflicted teaching someone that they’re disadvantaged. No formal ban of a word is going to mitigate the effect insecurity has allowed it to have. No amount of training is going to prepare teachers for a system that doesn’t trust them. If there’s a bad apple in the bushel, weed it out. Don’t assume the whole lot is tainted.

When we think of hiring practices for educators, we should want the best and brightest. We don’t need to see ourselves in their faces; we need to find ourselves through their ideas. Learning reaches beyond color to a place of higher perception. It’s clear that many people don’t really want equity; they want freedom from responsibility.

Charles Smith, Leesburg

One thought on “Letter: Charles Smith, Leesburg

  • 2019-07-01 at 8:18 am

    Charles, Wow – lots of topics built into a short note. State statute mandates school boards focus on making utmost efficiency and attention to the law their priority. This is done by school boards by managing the system via the Superintendent. The drift from core function is apparent and costly but mere words from constituents toward wayward school board members won’t fix this. The BOS needs to enforce the law and not just throw $1.3 billion over the transom without conditions which drive efficiency and proper management techniques. The conundrum is that all students come to school from varied backgrounds which challenges teachers to help them receive a top quality education by adapting as well as they can to such varied circumstances. When a student has minimally educated parents who speak no English how can they support that child with homework which needs some adjustment by the teacher which will be quite different from a student with highly educated, English speaking parents who are supportive. The answer is not to take away educational opportunity from the better positioned student but to offer added support to ACTUALLY challenged students “by need” not be labeling them by race, color, cultural background, religion or any other political proffered orientation. Teachers need support to accomplish their professional goals of educating every child assigned to them which is highly different than hiring non-accountable executive level headquarters staff from my experience as chair of the LCPDS finance committee for most of my two terms on the school board. If you want to see the new BOS starting in January 2020 take a more responsible role in honestly managing all tax dollars collected from Loudoun residents including LCPS then convince the 72% who don’t vote to get off the couch and show up for better county management which just might come from independent candidates who don’t have 4 by 8 foot signs on Route 7.

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