After listening to hours of work sessions, board meetings and both townhalls hosted by the Anchorage School District last month, I do not support the proposed policies on anti-racism and instructional equity which are being considered by the Anchorage School Board. Both policies are based on critical race theories and post-modern thought regarding knowledge, language and power structures.
I respectfully request that the board pause to educate and participate in professional development around this topic. There is clearly ignorance on the part of school board members around these false ideologies and theories. These policies will devastate our schools and harm our children.
I urge a laser focus on academics. If the school district continues to ignore the primacy and fundamental rights of parents to direct the upbringing of our children and persists in pushing these policies forward, they should, at the very least, delay action to allow further research and discussion.
We already have many policies that deal with actions surrounding racism – like nondiscrimination and harassment, bullying and zero tolerance discipline. We simply need to practice existing policies.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
If the school board feels something must be written, perhaps a zero-toleration administrative regulation could be issued instead of a new board policy. The regulation could simply state that the board rejects racism, and that it will work with the superintendent to champion a districtwide culture that values and respects the diversity and life experiences of all stakeholders in supporting the district’s mission, vision, core value, goals and guardrails.
Regarding “equity instruction,” the board could simply state that it believes in the equal access to instructional opportunities for all students, and that it recognizes that having equal access to opportunities improves individual academic achievement and overall district performance. The board could pledge to work to support local schools, to adopt and implement effective procedures and processes that identify, communicate and eliminate barriers to various instructional opportunities so that all students can access them equally. To ensure equal access to opportunities and subsequent improvement of academic proficiency goals are being achieved, the superintendent could report to the board regarding inputs and outcomes of school procedures as part of the board’s goals and guardrails monitoring.
- Click here to contact members of the Anchorage School Board.
- Call (907) 742-1101 to leave a message for school board members.
- Click here for information on how to participate in the April 6 school board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.
The views expressed here are those of the author.