Staff Report Shows Racial, Ethnic Gaps Among Students
By Michael Alison Chandler
Fairfax County School Board members said they are likely to abandon a staff report that showed racial and ethnic gaps in some measures of student behavior, including in the demonstration of "sound moral character and ethical judgment."
The board had delayed an April vote to approve the report after concerns were raised that findings were based on subjective measures, such as elementary report card data, and that they would fuel negative stereotypes.
Board member Phillip A. Niedzielski-Eichner (Providence) said yesterday that he plans to propose at a June 19 meeting that a vote on the report be postponed indefinitely. Several board members have indicated their support, he said.
Board member Martina A. Hone (At Large) said that the original report is "fatally flawed" and that it doesn't make sense "to work on fixing it." She said she is pleased with the way the board is rethinking it. "I think we have come out a stronger school board," she said.
The school system's report was an early attempt to measure progress on a host of goals the board considers "essential" for success in the workplace. It identified disparities among groups of students in several skills, including the ability to contribute effectively in a group, resolve conflicts and make healthy choices, and in the demonstration of moral character and ethical judgment.