A Race to the Bottom: An Education on Why Our Schools are Failing
Battle Born Moms for Education (BBME) was created to better understand what was happening in the Washoe County School District (WCSD). Promising to remain nonpartisan, we struggled with why WCSD has seemingly turned its back on providing all students with an exemplary education in the name of a race-focused equity agenda. Do they really believe that our education system is systemically racist favoring white students and thereby causing an education gap and disparity in punishment for students of color? After almost a year of combing through WCSD documents and listening to board meetings, we found the answer is yes; that is what they believe. We felt it was imperative that we share this information with our community, so here are our findings.
Like many politicians throughout the United States, Nevada’s political leaders have jumped aboard the “America is systemically racist” train. This locomotive started in the White House and traveled to and through our federal government, into the state and local governments, arriving insidiously in our school districts. As an evidentiary sample, we look at the hiring of Dr. Susan Enfield to fill the position of WCSD Superintendent. Just last November she wrote an article entitled “Decentering Whiteness from Our American Schools”, confirming her beliefs align, she was hired and granted a ticket to board the train.
Ending racism is imperative. But fighting racism with more racism is not the answer. The deceptively titled anti-racist programs being adopted and promoted, such as restorative justice (no punishment for wrongdoing), social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion (which include equity of outcome, and grouping individuals by race, physical characteristics, or sexual identity), are themselves racist, bigoted and directly conflict with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects ALL people regardless of race. This new equity agenda demands everything be looked at through a racial lens. Causing what we are seeing in our schools today; violence, decreasing student enrollment, teacher shortages, weakening of parental and guardian rights, and substandard education.
Did You Know
Students in WCSD are not proficient in basic subjects but are still allowed to graduate. Just look at Nevada Dept. of Ed’s own Accountability Portal disclosing that in 2020-2021 WCSD’s high school graduation rate was 85.11%, while the math proficiency rate was only 27.7% and the English Language Arts (ELA) proficiency was only 48%. Those claiming it is due to COVID are wrong. It is a trend coinciding with the onset of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Scroll down to Academic Performance on Ballotpedia to see from 2010-2019, graduation rates increased while proficiency rates decreased. This is what equitable graduation looks like; students advance without learning. Keep reading to see how equity over education came to be.
On President Biden’s first day in office, he reinstated President Obama’s message that 'We Are Not Cured'; the U.S. is still systemically racist. Biden returned to requiring all institutions including schools wanting federal money, even the COVID relief money, to follow the “anti-racist” Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda.
From the federal to the state government, on June 04, 2020, Governor Sisolak issued a proclamation that Nevada is systemically racist. Many in Nevada's government follow this belief. We researched to see who they are and how their policies affect our schools.
Something that could have been great went bad. Teachers who obtained their licenses after 2015 were now mandated by law to take multicultural training to obtain a teaching license. We all welcome positively enacted multiculturalism, but in WCSD, they chose to teach the teachers that will be teaching our children that the United States is systemically racist through a cultural competency training manual.
To support these newly trained race-focused teachers, the WCSD’s Equity and Diversity Department created a website for teachers that is filled with resources supporting the belief that the United States is systemically racist. Teachers can find and use lesson plans and supporting materials that contain videos, tutorials, and posters on topics like; white privilege, oppression, social justice, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+, and implicit bias.
The last bit of the puzzle was to bring in the supporting curriculum. The WCSD School Board tried to vote in the Benchmark Advance K-5 Social Justice Curriculum focused on white oppressors oppressing black indigenous people of color. Due to parent and community backlash, they failed. In the meantime, social justice supplemental resources are available to be used by any teacher as they so desire.
WCSD wants to change school culture where 87% of teachers are white and 78% are female. “The WCSD is reimagining how teachers and school leaders are prepared, recruited, and supported throughout the educator pipeline to grow a more diversified staff.” It is a great idea to attain more diversity, but not at the expense of not supporting those already teaching. With all the teacher shortages, the opening has not been filled destroying the belief there was no diversity in teachers due to systemic racism. It seems no teachers from any background want to work in a race-focused environment.
Racial equity is racism. A mom, with supporting documents, told of the WCSD’s Equity & Diversity Department overseeing a club called Queens in the Making for 12-year-old black female students. No parents were allowed in the school due to COVID, but the school let the adult leaders of this club come in. Permission slips were given out, however, this mom signed that her daughter was not given permission to be in this club. Regardless, they pulled her daughter out of her diverse classroom and put her into a classroom where all the other girls looked like her. She did not know any of the girls and the leaders talked about how police go after black girls. She told her mom when she got home that it had made her stomach upset. Her mother said that is what segregation and racism feel like. The mom has filed a Civil Rights Violation Claim.
Many WCSD parents showed up to Superintendent Enfield’s first town hall with reports of bullying and abuse. During the first week of school, there were at least 3 Fights at Hug High School posted to social media, as well as fights ignored by administrators at O'Brien Middle School and guns found in WCSD students' backpacks. On top of that, the WCSD paid $4.4M to settle a bullying/abuse lawsuit settlement. The violence is even worse in the Clark County School District.
Continuing bus driver shortage means students will still be picked up at designated hubs. A former WCSD teacher wonders whether even if students can get to school will they have a competent teacher, calling staffing shortages a 'national tragedy”.
Parents’ rights are being stripped away with regulations like WCSD Administrative Regulation 5161 Gender Identity and Gender Non-Conforming Student which allows school staff to decide if a “student’s asserted gender identity is genuinely held.” Once that is decided the school staff is forbidden from letting the parents know. This student, without parental knowledge or authorization, can even change his/her gender identity in their school record. Also, entry into bathrooms and locker rooms as well as playing non-NIAA sports will be based on gender identity.
Lax U.S. border security affects our schools. WCSD has over 9,000 English Language Learners (ELL) with 90 different languages in a school district of approx 64,000. Per the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA, aka Teachers Union), NSEA expects our classrooms will have 1 in 4 ELLs by the year 2025. Per WCSD’s website We Are WCSD – WCSDdata, “WCSD’s students are linguistically and culturally diverse and speak many languages - 90 different languages in total.” With numbers like this our schools cannot, and currently do not, effectively teach students.
If you think this is it. This is nothing... this is just the tip of the iceberg. Parents and Guardians, this only stops when you are involved and know what is taking place in the classroom.