New Maryland School Board Policy Could Prioritize Race In Decision Making, Community Engagement

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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A tentative Maryland school board policy reviewed on March 24 could prioritize race in community engagement standards and the board’s decision-making process, according to a memo of the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) Board’s policy.

Rebecca Smondrowski, the chair of the Board of Education Policy Management Committee, submitted a memo for proposed changes to Board Policy “ABA,” which include affirming the board’s commitment to “inclusive, culturally responsive, and antiracist engagement guidelines” that “inform the Board’s decision-making processes.”

The policy also vows to use “culturally responsive engagement planning,” a phrase that is synonymous with the teaching of critical race theory. A previous version of Board Policy “ABA” does not refer to critical race theory-inspired words such as “antiracist” or “culturally responsive.”

According to the updated policy, unless there are “clear guidelines,” “community engagement efforts may result in not hearing from stakeholders … who have been traditionally marginalized.” Therefore, the Board of Education must create policy for “effective, inclusive, and equitable engagement practices.”

The board policy claims that the creation of “culturally responsive environments” will allow more “diverse views” to be heard.

“Research-based models of public participation and engagement recommend that public participation and engagement efforts are most successful when there are … ongoing efforts to create culturally responsive environments where diverse views may be heard and considered,” the policy reads.

The tentative policy also upholds that stakeholders in the community are organizations that advocate for a litany of left-wing political priorities including “gender identity, gender expression, orientation,” and more.

Embracing “culturally responsive” models of engagement and decision-making is synonymous with prioritizing opinions based on race, according to critical race theory critics. (RELATED: Public School Teachers Asked To Examine Culture, ‘Hierarchies’ In Math Class)

In recent weeks, a school district near Tacoma, Washington, implemented “culturally responsive discipline.” Critics of the school board change argue that black students will be given lighter punishments than white students by dint of their skin color. The district’s school board vehemently denies this critique, according to the Daily Mail.

A similar implementation of the Montgomery County Public School’s Board Policy could mean the views of minority parents would be prioritized over those of white parents.

Rebecca Smondrowski did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.