Maryland's largest school district is conducting an anti-racism audit to "transform" their social studies curriculum to pre-K-12 students to improve their "senses of racial and ethnic identity."
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), launched last year its "Antiracist System Audit" in an effort to eliminate racial barriers within its policies and practices. Dr. Monifa McKnight was the interim superintendent. She said that the district had met with students families and staff to discuss the audit and the next steps.
MCPS stated that the audit focuses upon six key areas: workforce diversity, work conditions and equity curriculum review. It also emphasizes equity achievement and community involvement. MCPS stated that it will review the pre-K-12 curriculum and specifically social studies "through an antiracist prism."
"We heard from our students over the years about how Social Studies was taught and negates a complete picture of the context that addresses African American History and many of these contributions made by African Americans," MCPS website states. "We invited students to sit at the table and talk with us about Columbus Day."
"This summer, a cross-office group was charged with developing a long-term plan for transforming curriculum and developing interconnected and multidisciplinary learning experiences for students, preK-12. This strengthens students' senses of racial and ethnic identities, helps them understand oppression and empowers them to be change agents.
Josh Kraushaar of National Journal first highlighted the description Saturday, calling it "critical race theory in its simplest form."
Fox News Digital was informed by MCPS that it doesn't teach the "decades old framework" critical Race Theory (CRT) to students and does not encourage "blaming or shaming white students for the actions taken by others.
District also stated that it does not "scramble from its long-standing commitment for students to have the tools to examine the evolution of our country, its institutions, and polices through an accurate lens that accurately reflects all communities and cultures."
It stated that the MCPS curriculum aims to provide a complete and factual history, as well as information about policies and events that contributed to structural racism. It does not encourage the blaming and shame of white students for other's actions. We encourage students to reflect on the past and examine their present. Then, we encourage them to work together to create a better future that is free from racist attitudes, practices, and systems.
McKnight stated in her February 2 letter that the next stage of the audit will be to hear from the community through focus groups and surveys. McKnight stated that the results will be made public by June.
McKnight wrote, "It's not lost on us that this letter is written from the MCPS headquarters in the Carver Educational Services Center Building." McKnight wrote that this historic place was once the school where all Black high school students from Montgomery County had to go, regardless of their location. This fact reminds us of the racism that was built into our core structures.
She said, "But, we are sitting here as leaders in a district that's now one of the largest and most diverse in the country." "We believe that this audit will help us re-imagine a school district in which all students, parents, and staff feel valued, seen, heard, and safe."