The SacCountyGOP issued an Action Alert this week, notifying parents in the San Juan Unified School District about an agenda item that might be of interest. The purpose of these alerts is to make sure parents know when there are opportunities to attend school board meetings and express their views on issues of concern. We ask them to form their own statements as education issues aren’t partisan. It’s all about the kids, and we support any program that lifts students up to overcome barriers in their way.
Since the Equity program was on the SJUSD agenda, we did some research. We discovered that Learning for Justice was guiding their actions, infusing social justice advocacy into all curriculum. Here’s the District’s “Commitment to Educational Justice.” Read it, and let us know what you think!
Without passing any judgment, we posed the following questions we had after reading about the Equity Program:
- What is taught at the Fall and Winter Equity Summits for administrators?
- What are equitable grading practices?
- What are the social justice standards and equitable practices that are being integrated into all content areas mentioned in the 8 Point Commitments?
- What are the “more historically accurate and identify-affirming hands-on historical experiences” that are part of instructional resources?
- There seems to be a theme of a “student-centered classroom” as opposed to “teacher centered classroom” with student voices integrated into curricular and content decisions. Are the students choosing what they are going to learn?
- Can we see what is taught by Sac State professors at the Social Justice Institute?
- What are the alternatives to suspensions that are being implemented and are they effective in changing behavior?
- Do parents have access to any of the content for these lessons and trainings?
This Alert struck a nerve as the CTA and Sacramento Democrats launched a Twitter swarm of misinformation and accusations, while making sure the Board was on notice that Republicans were out of line to ask for transparency. This is the exact reason why the House of Representatives introduced the “Parents Bill of Rights” – HR 5.
Examples of the misinformation posted on social media and in letters to Board Members:
“These attempts are thinly veiled bigotry and this isn’t the first time they’ve made children their ground zero for brainwashing and harm.”
“It has been brought to my attention that the GOP are actively trying to harm children by trying to fictiously (sic) narrate history. We are a nation of diversity and equity, trying to erase that in favor of white people and men is really problematic. Just because folks espousing bigotry are being loud and throwing tantrums, I hope you can see through that to protect our children who are diverse and are from diverse families.”
Below are a few of their Twitter posts, including an excerpt from our email to parents who had signed up for notices in the district. If they actually read our email, the SacDems and the CTA knew we did not ask for the Equity program to be dismantled, and there was certainly no extreme ideological agenda, other than to learn if the programs have helped students achieve academic improvements.
Their defensive reaction told us we did the right thing, and we will stand with parents who are calling for a subsequent meeting where the actual curriculum can be examined and data on the effectiveness for the target groups revealed.