The core of the public education system is based on local decision-making, aimed to address the will and needs of the whole community. School board directors are public servants, who – in our role as the governing body of NPSD – are dedicated to providing the best public education for each & every child in our district.
School districts – under state and federal education laws – are responsible for ensuring that race, ethnicity, gender, class, and disability do not limit any student’s ability to access and benefit from district programs. Addressing and working to eliminate barriers to opportunity that our students may face – from discrimination, to poverty, to trauma, to digital inequity – is essential to meeting this responsibility. Regrettably, misunderstandings about Critical Race Theory have caused the label “CRT” to be used to alarm, attack, and undermine essential efforts to promote equity in our classrooms.
Critical Race Theory is just that – a theory. It is a framework for examining the effects of race and racism in society. Being a theory, it has been discussed in graduate-level higher education and legal circles for decades – not as a curriculum, but as a point of discussion and analysis. Though originally focused on race, it has expanded to include the intersectional examination of the effects of other types of discrimination, such as those centered around gender, ethnicity, class, and disability in society.
CRT should not be confused with Cultural Proficiency or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives. These practices empower teachers and school leaders affirm and incorporate the diverse cultural references, identities, voices, experiences, and histories of all students and their families.
Cultural Proficiency & DEI efforts are necessary to ensure that every child – regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, class, or disability – has access to a high-quality education and opportunities for success. These are programs we are proud to have instituted and are actively working to expand. Alarmist cries of "radicalization" and "indoctrination" will not sway our dedication to advancing equity throughout the North Penn School District.
School is a place where children develop their understanding of the world and their ability to make meaningful change in it. Our kids deserve age-appropriate and accurate history lessons, helping them become the critical thinkers we need to make this a more just and equitable country. As leaders and parents invested in the future of North Penn, it is our responsibility to find age-appropriate ways to openly and honestly discuss the difficult facts about our country’s past and present.
Debates about Critical Race Theory are not beneficial to the school board’s decision-making about the district’s equity needs and goals. They are a partisan distraction from the very real needs of our students – needs that must not be drowned out by the enraged voices of our loudest opposition, spreading misinformation and hate in the name of liberty and freedom.
Recognizing that there is room for reasonable disagreement about many aspects of public education, we encourage and celebrate a civil discourse with the broader local community we have been elected to serve. No one person or group has all of the answers – only working together can we find the right solutions for our community. Only when engaged citizens share their concerns in a respectful and constructive dialogue, can we make progress towards meeting the needs of the families we serve while continuing to provide every North Penn student with the highest-quality education.
We remain confident that our community wants the very best education for every student, so that every child can succeed. No matter our race, ethnicity, class or religion, we all want our kids to have an education that imparts honesty and respect about where we’ve come from, empathy in how we treat others, and courage to stand up for truth and kindness.
We must work together to ensure our schools have the resources to meet every child’s needs – with well-trained and supported teachers and an inclusive curriculum that facilitates an understanding of our shared past with empathy. By joining together, we can reject this division and make North Penn School District a place where every child can learn, grow, and thrive.