We are heartened to see the Truthful Education In FCPS resolution on the Board's October 20 agenda for a vote. We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Ricardy Anderson and Karen Keys Gamarra to put this important Board statement in front of the community. https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/vpublic?open
This coalition of advocacy makes clear that the Fairfax County community supports the teaching of truth about important subjects like racial and social justice, and the educators who do that hard work. Our teachers and this community are looking to the Board for clear leadership in these politically charged times.
As current and former FCPS students, teachers, and parents, we in Free and Antiracist Minds (FAM) know that students and parents want truth in teaching, and educators need and want support to do that work. Local support for this resolution makes that abundantly clear and aligns with national trends.This Rand study shows that teachers need the support of school system leadership to teach about racism and bias in this political climate https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA1108-5.html. The study also shows that lack of support is a significant factor in teacher satisfaction, especially for teachers of color, which is incredibly important in FCPS where we strive to hire and retain more teachers of color to reflect the demographics of our student population.
Some have suggested that the FCPS Controversial Issues Policy, if amended, could provide the support teachers need to teach historic truths and representative literature. That policy provides limited guidance at best, and is not the public statement of confidence and leadership that educators and the community want to hear. Words spoken from the School Board dais are often the Board's most important work.
FAM began reaching out to Board members in August, and Dr. Anderson has been in contact with all Board members about this resolution since early September. We very much appreciate the input of Dr. Reid and some Board members about the resolution's language. FAM has accepted language changes that would not water down the message in the eyes of the coalition of supporting organizations. At this time, gathering that support for further amendments would not be possible.
We, and the coalition of supporting organizations, look for the unanimous support of the Board. Thank you.
Free and Antiracist Minds, FAM
Coalition of Supporting Organizations:
Fairfax Education Association
Fairfax County Federation of Teachers
Fairfax County Council of PTAs
Special Education PTA of Fairfax County (SEPTA)
NAACP of Fairfax County
Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee
Stand and Deliver VA
4 Public Education
Fairfax Indivisible Group