Last week, the WCSD Board of Trustees selected Susan Enfield as their choice for Superintendent. The vote was 6 to 1. Our impressions of her were good as compared with the other finalists....though we would have chosen someone else as our first pick.
Now that the dust has settled, the selection made and the offer sent...we are viewing her with trepidation. We have concerns.
Bad District Scores
Her scores on greatschools.org are worse than WCSD. Which is very disheartening. These scores provide an overall snapshot of school quality based on multiple measures, like academics, equity, and the school environment, compared to other public schools in the state. This graphic outlines a summary of the percentage of schools in the district with above, below, or about average Summary Ratings. You can see that Her district had 10% more schools in the below average category and 21% less schools in the above average category. Concerning.
Enfield is Focused on "Decentering "Whiteness"' In Schools
We recently discovered an article that Dr. Enfield co-authored for Getting Smart, an organization focused on ensuring equity and inclusion. She is an active member of their Advisory Board.
The article is titled "Decentering Whiteness in Our American Schools." In this article, the authors indicated that our American schools are centered on dominant white culture that is systemically racist towards students of color, which can ultimately harm and oppress them. The authors state that “Decentering whiteness is not decentering white people. Whiteness is not emblematic of a race of people; it is the pervasive dominant culture in the United States. This culture erases any validity of other cultures or ways of being. It is the normed reference for what is often “proper”, “appropriate”, “successful”, and “worthy”. American school systems are set up, implemented and measured by whiteness standards.”
There is room to teach and model inclusion, kindness, empathy for our students, but we strongly oppose the current trend of racial tribalism. Unity will never be reached if we continue to pit different races against one another. How are math, science, writing, reading, english and social studies racist and white dominant? We fear this perpetuation of race focused policies will create further contention and distraction in our schools.