State Superintendent Releases Report on CRT, Equity Programs – Loudoun Now


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Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow released an interim report on Feb. 25, identifying concepts and programs found to be “discriminatory” and in violation of the governor’s executive order banning Critical Race Theory and divisive concepts in schools. 

In a letter to Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Education Secretary Aimee Guidera  accompanying the report, Balow said that “divisive concepts” are those that  advance “any ideas in violation of Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” 

“We must continue to ensure that no student in Virginia is taught to judge or treat others differently solely on the basis of their race, skin color, ethnicity, sex or faith,” Balow said.

The concept of racial equity in education became a political flashpoint during the 2021 gubernatorial campaign. Conservatives hold that progressive ideology that seeks to equalize access to resources for all students is inherently racist because it emphasizes race over character. They claim that certain initiatives, such as the equity report commissioned by Loudoun County Public Schools to review racial inequity is the division, allow liberal political ideology to seep into schools. 

Ballow’s report includes actions taken to end certain programs, including rescinding the VDOE’s Culturally Responsive Website and Virginia L.E.A.R.N.S., which outlines remedies for COVID-related learning loss. 

The report describes Virginia L.E.A.R.N.S., as a “Substantial focus on building an equitable culture to remedy the learning loss caused by COVID-19 and school closures…” It states, “Education Equity is achieved when we eliminate the predictability of student outcomes based on gender, zip code, ability, socioeconomic status or language spoken at home.”

The programs and verbiage identified by Balow prioritize equal outcomes for students as opposed to equal access to opportunities. 

“With this interim report, along with another at the 90-day mark, we want to spur productive dialogue across the commonwealth and create a teachable moment for us all—educators, the Citizens of Virginia, and concerned American parents,” Balow wrote. 

The Loudoun school division came under fire when then-Attorney General Mark Herringfound that the Academies of Loudoun denied students of color equal opportunity to attend the Academies of Loudoun and elementary school gifts programs. 

The school division settled with Herring’s office in 2021 and agreed to remedies, including third party monitoring to improve access to resources for students of color. 

The full interim state report can be found here.

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