[Note: this article originally published on Nov. 3. It is reappearing on the front page in light of the Jill Woolbright book-banning issue, which relates to the equity matter.]
In a move that left one school board member stunned and others agreeing to a change that seemed almost entirely the result of vague, polemical attacks on the word on social media and in charged but limited national discussions, the Flagler County School Board on Tuesday agreed to drop the word “equity” from its goals.
The word will be replaced with “student success.”
“I can’t even believe that we’re having this conversation. I really, truly can’t believe we’re having this conversation,” Board member Colleen Conklin said. “All of the work that this district has done, everything that has taken place over the years, and the conversations that we’ve had with community members and stakeholders, that we are now going to remove a key term in our strategic plan because we have a political group that is not happy with the use of the term equity. I think this conversation is absolutely ridiculous.”
The school board hasn’t precisely defined “equity,” nor had it felt the need to year after year when it would routinely hear its administration present equity report after equity report, as required by law (as it did for example on July 20). But Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt on Tuesday defined it as “how our intention is to be deliberate with our resources to ensure that every student has an opportunity to be successful.” The National School Board Association defines it this way: “Educational equity is the intentional allocation of resources, instruction, and opportunities according to need, requiring that discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs be identified and eradicated.”
The school board and the administration have been working for months on their “strategic plan,” a blueprint for overall goals and principles that define the way the district operates, and to what end. The completed document hasn’t yet been publicized, not even to the board members. But its draft in outline has. It includes–or included–six goals: Academics, equity, social and emotional well being, talent, improving operational efficiencies, and communications.
None of the goals have been controversial. For example, on academics, the goal is to “Increase reading and math achievement for students as identified through state and
progress monitoring assessments.”
Equity: “Increase equitable access for all students to a high quality educational experience” by ensuring that all students have access to accelerated coursework, “with an emphasis on students who are traditionally underrepresented,” implementing K-12 classroom to career pathways at every school, a daily focus on students with disabilities, and carrying out what’s called–in the ever-present lingo of educational bureaucracies–a “Multi-Tiered System of Support.” What that means is, again, that all students must have “equitable access to high-quality instruction and interventions to meet all student needs,” according to one definition.
As recently as August, Mittelstadt told the board–with no objections–how “the term equity is critically important to all of us. We want to ensure that all of our nine brick and mortar schools regardless of, at the end in December, whenever the board’s pleasure is to adopt the new rezoning policy–families, wherever they reside, are going to get a quality education that is going to be a similar experience, whether you’re one of our five elementary schools or the two middle schools and the two high school. So we are very much invested in that whole process. And part of that I think is one of the buckets that’s coming forward when we talk about our strategic plan process.”
The goals are restatements of core strategies most school boards have carried out in one way or another for years, tweaking language and details here and there while keeping principles recognizable. Talent is focused on recruiting top quality staff. “Operational efficiencies” get into the details of work order completion rates and school lunch participation rates and other issues that draw little to no public interest. The strategic plan isn’t even wholly the product of Flagler schools, but a derivative of a company, DeliverEd, that helps districts tailor their goals accordingly.
Mittlestadt herself was not necessarily proposing a word change, though she’d been leaning that way after sending an email to board members suggesting “student success” as a replacement. She was asking the school board for direction Tuesday in light of recent public comments–and comments by board members themselves–about the word “equity.” Weeks ago some parents had brought up the word critically in the context of a previously proposed rezoning plan, inaccurately accusing the board for letting “equity” drive its rezoning approach. The word, never controversial until recently, has taken on an ideological shade along with the backlash against “critical race theory,” anti-racism efforts in schools and LGBTQ-friendly policies and procedures.
“It does not change where we need to go by amending the title,” Mittelstadt said, “but the intent for the district staff and why we use the word equity was because we feel Flagler schools has certain subgroups within our demographics where our gaps have just not closed. And we wanted to be so intentional on how we moved our work forward. And so that’s why the team came up with that particular title for that goal.”
Terms like “equity” and “critical race theory” are usually thrown willy-nilly with little understanding about what they mean. But they’ve developed powerful coded meanings, translating into effective rhetorical tools, rallying and energizing various subsets of the GOP base in the latest campaigns of the culture wars: Glenn Youngkin, who Tuesday won the governorship in Virginia, had campaigned against critical race theory and for “parents’ rights” up to and including their right to keep their children from being assigned race-conscious books like “Beloved,” by the Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison.
“I think it’s become such a inflammatory word in the population,” Board member Janet McDonald said, “that I think student success, which is our goal, can get us there and be more uniformly acknowledged by people that that’s really what our strategic plan is all about. Because the other just brings in attention to something that it’s not.” (The renamed goal would be “student support” rather than student success.) Board member Jill Woolbright said likewise. “I don’t think that anyone would have issue with student support. However there are, I’ve heard from many, that have an issue with equity, and whether it’s a misunderstanding or what we intend or not, that’s still their beef, and if we can get the same thing accomplished with a more acceptable word, I don’t see a reason not to change.” Woolbright, like McDonald, often refers to hearing from “many” in the community to lend support to her positions, but without indicating who the “many” are, or how many the many represent.
“Equity is such a misinterpreted phrase, it fits whatever people want it to fit,” Board member Cheryl Massaro said. “No matter how we tried to explain it, it’s still going to fit how they want it to fit. So I think that probably a change in language will make life much easier and more understandable to our families, and that’s the goal. So I support that change.”
Conklin, acknowledging that she was in the minority, called it a “travesty” if the term was changed. Board Chairman Trevor Tucker said he didn’t care either way, but said that was moot, too, since he already saw a three-member majority for a change.
The board’s decision is in fact the culmination of a limited but roiling local debate that harks back to the board’s adoption last year of equity-based procedures that relate to LGBTQ students. Randall Bertrand, the parent of a transgender student, applauded the board at the time, but spoke words that anticipated this latest development: “People are going to come to you and they’re going to want to tell you stories about a boogey man, providing equity to our LGBTQ students will somehow suddenly make our schools unsafe,” he told the board at an April 2021 meeting. “I learned long ago that if someone talks to me about the boogey man, I need to carefully consider their motives. Words have meaning. Not only what we say. But we don’t say. I’ve read the equity support procedures. While it doesn’t read exactly what I would like it to say, it strikes a fair balance between protecting kids taking into account existing state and federal laws.”
By October 19, a different speaker who has become a frequent presence at school board meetings–Chanel Channing–was claiming to the board that “equity is what could lead to that collectivism, which then goes to socialism and communism, and that’s why I think you’re going to find such pushback on equity.” She later raised concerns about “the transgender connection with equity.” Another speaker, Jessico Bowman, described equity as a “a pentacle of CRT.”
However preposterously false the statements, they were part of the evolution that led to the board’s decision on Tuesday.
Mike Cocchiola says
Shame on the ignorant people who see communists and liberal witches and ghosts in every word they don’t understand, and shame on the school board for giving in to this ignorance. America’s commitment to public education is fading fast.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Parents have awoken and are taking back public education, and demanding excellence.
What does that even mean? You are mad at invisible ghosts. No one is blaming parents for getting involved. Christ the schools have been BEGGING parents to get involved. Think about it. Why are they involved now? Masks? hysterical. No masks here. Even if Conklin attempted to do the right thing to protect kids – it was optional. Nothing to get hysterical about. Vaccines? No one is mandating them in Florida schools. CRT? A graduate level THEORY that isn’t being taught in public schools ANYWHERE in America. What’s next?? Parent’s are excited and riled up because they are being emotionally played with by a particular national party. Take public education back? No one took it from anyone. Demand excellence? Flagler Schools was an “A” rated school before this bullshit started. I can guarantee one thing, it won’t be after this school year, not with all this nonsense. Watch your property values TANK because your teachers won’t want to work here and constantly be under attack due to a FAKE crisis in our schools. Wake up people!! WTF is wrong with your common senses!!??!?!?!
Carrie E Nelson says
It means we are sick of liberals hijacking the dept of ed. They are all “teaching” “crt” – they just aren’t calling it that. Just seenthe definitionnof equity written by NASB. Just see the letter NASB wrote to the DOJ. Yes we arents are sick of liberal indoctrination. A-rated schools? Check your proficiency scores. You must be a realtor- one who likes to sell based on A-rated schools.
Ray W. says
NASB? Do you, Carrie E. Nelson, mean the Nebraska Association of School Boards? I can’t find a definition of equity on that site. Or, does the site you visit misspell NSBA, which is the National School Boards Association?
Is it reasonable for me to suspect that you are visiting a site that is feeding you misinformation?
I did find an NSBA letter to President Biden, in which NSBA leadership requests coordinated federal law enforcement assistance (DOJ, FBI, Homeland Security) to state and local law enforcement agencies that are dealing with an increase in threats of violence directed towards school board members and teachers all across the nation. Is this the letter that is making you sick? Do you see the irony inhering in your use of the term “hijacking” when the threats of violence are coming from so-called conservatives?
I did find an NSBA definition of educational equity: “[T]he intentional allocation of resources, instruction, and opportunities according to need, requiring that discriminatory practices, prejudices and beliefs be identified and eradicated.” Is this, too, what is making you sick?
And, no, CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools, as it is a course offered in institutions of higher education, such as universities or law schools, despite the physical reaction you apparently feel to whatever it is that you are reading. Renaming trigonometry as calculus does not make trigonometry calculus. It really does remain trigonometry.
Ray W. says
Thank you, Enough.
I argue that common sense, which you refer to in your closing sentence, can have more than one aspect.
As I have repeatedly posted, if one thinks that common sense is a result, it can be argued that someone else can tell him or her what common sense means. Common sense, in this aspect, has already been thought through to one conclusion by the other person and its definition cannot be changed by the listener. However, if one were to think that common sense is a process, then each person must go through an examination of what common sense should be, over and over again, in order to determine what common sense means in each new situation. One approach is easy, but allows for manipulation by trusted others to creep in. The other approach is harder, but fosters independent thought. I suggest to FlaglerLive readers that our founding fathers believed that common sense was a process. The decades encompassing our nation’s formative years is now described in academia as the Age of Common Sense.
Thomas Reid is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the Common Sense movement, an outgrowth of the Scottish Enlightenment. The Age of Common Sense spanned approximately six decades, beginning in about 1750.
One of Thomas Reid’s several contributions to philosophy was his concept of educability, published in 1762. According to Reid, a person was educable if that person possessed both of two qualities: veracity and credulity. Veracity can be defined as one’s capacity to speak, know and understand the truth about a subject matter. Credulity can be defined as one’s capacity to believe that another person possesses veracity about a particular subject matter and, therefore, that the other person can teach him or her about the subject matter. Creating credulity for another person about a particular subject matter gives that other person credibility for that subject matter.
If a person speaks, knows and understands addition and subtraction, that person possesses veracity for basic mathematics, but that does not mean that the person can also speak, know and understand linear algebra. If a person lacks veracity about linear algebra, he or she must either figure it out alone (someone had to have been the first to figure out linear algebra and other previously unsolved mathematical and mechanical problems, which is why Archimedes and Sir Isaac Newton are respected today) or he or she must learn linear algebra from someone else, but that requires the individual to create credulity in his own mind for a teacher. But, here’s the rub. If a person creates credulity for the right person, thereby giving the teacher credibility, then student can be taught about the subject matter and gain veracity for the subject matter. If a person creates credulity for the wrong person, for example a malicious manipulator of thought, then that malicious manipulator of thought, now possessing credibility in the mind of the student who currently lacks veracity for the subject matter, can manipulate the now credulous person. In this way, political partisans can maliciously persuade those seeking knowledge into believing anything. Once a person becomes convinced by the malicious partisan, he not only continues to lack veracity for that subject matter, but he also becomes uneducable by all other non-malicious teachers.
Our founding fathers hoped the liberal democratic Constitutional republic they created would foster men (and women) of virtue, but they understood and feared the existence of the many malicious manipulators of the uneducable of their day, so they insisted on creating checks and balances for every power to be given to the government under the proposed Constitution. In this way, it was hoped that no single political party would ever gain complete control of the government. They limited the newly-delegated powers given to the federal government and split those limited powers between the judicial, legislative and executive branches, knowing that state, county and municipal governments, each with its own set of limited powers, also split between judicial, legislative, and executive branches, would act as an additional check and balance to the federal powers and to each other. To our founding fathers, this many branched form of limited governments was expected to fend off the excesses of partisan politics, because they also knew that our nation had many regional interests, with agricultural, commercial, and industrial partisans varying across the many regions. These differing and competing non-political interests were expected to further exercise checks and balances on the powers given to the various governments. However, our founding fathers could not have anticipated the rise of mass media and its ever-expanding ability to control the minds of the uneducable, who lack the desire to take the time and exert the effort to engage in the process of defining common sense in each new situation. Mass media only works if people believe that common sense is a result and not a process.
Are those who congregate on Flagler Beach street corners waving flags bearing vulgar slogans influenced by a mass media effort that is intent on undermining our liberal democratic Constitutional republic? Are they members of a partisan group of a type that so greatly concerned our founding fathers that checks and balances were inserted into our Constitution to prevent the flag wavers from ever gaining complete control of the federal government? Are the flag wavers examples of the virtuous citizens our founding fathers hoped would be fostered by their great experiment?
The rise and power of mass media concerned C. S. Lewis, who wrote about it in “The Abolition of Man.” Lewis, in the chapter titled “Men Without Chests”, argued that each generation of mankind adds to the knowledge gained by its preceding generation. In time, one generation, a super generation, will reach a tipping point, when its storehouse of knowledge expands enough to allow it to define what it is to be human and, therefore redefine all future generations of mankind, possibly wiping out the divine spark that exists in all of us. That super generation will possess three things: 1. the capacity to manipulate thought through a highly refined version of mass media; 2. the capacity to clone human beings to introduce qualities that the super generation believes are advantageous or desirable; and, 3. the desire to engage in eugenics efforts in order to wipe out undesirable populations, i.e., the “other” people. In Lewis’ argument, that super generation will create a version of mankind that, lacking any form of divine spark, will eventually cause humanity to fade away, abolishing mankind as a species created with and sustained by the divine spark that makes us all human beings who share this great planet.
Lewis may have been aware of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, published late in the 19th century, when he wrote The Abolition of Man during the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. Wells wrote of a distant future in which humans have split into two species, with one species of humans timidly existing as cattle or sheep, living in settlements built into cliff walls in an effort to seek security from the other subterranean-dwelling separate human species that hunts them for food.
The dude says
How about you Flagler County School Board morons figure out how to make the fucking school buses run on time… THEN you can preen for the trump club and re-engage in your culture wars.
Lance Carroll says
The school buses are subject to traffic on the public roadways too, right? School buses are equipment that is subject to breakdown too, right? You, like all of us should stop at the red lights too, right? Maybe you should drive your kid to school or homeschool, right?
The dude says
Or… and I’m just spitballing here… the Flagler County School Board morons could do their actual jobs instead of constantly preening for the trump club…
Between yesterday’s morning pickup and yesterday’s afternoon drop off, those two buses were a combined 1 hour 45 minutes late. There ain’t that many stoplights or that much traffic in this town.
Concerned Citizen says
I’ve watched several this year run red lights. And a few cut across Palm Coast Pkwy not stopping. Reported several. The folks that answer the phone are less than polite. And not interested in the dash cam footage.
Thanks for these fine examples of cooperation. This collective effort from within the community sounds like a great safeguard against all the raging communism.
Jonathan P HUBBERT says
I took “Crit” in law school, and not one trumpanzee has accurately related its relativity to life, liberty or the pursuits (enumerated or otherwise) in the Constitution — much less educational opportunities, philosophy or practice. “Crit” is an exploration of coordinated application of white power, dissolution of educational goals (promoting History repeating itself), ignorance of social equities and structural discrimination of color, religion, ethnicity, gender or any other demographic we now protect as an unenumerated right found in our Constitution.
The ‘communists’ are the trumpanzees. The common thread here is: even though some many elses’ have won elections; law suits and dominate the intellectual discussion, trumpanzees will nullify any outcome with which they disagree by any illegal means available.
trumpanzees dominate corridors of traffic with their vulgar feelings. These ‘feelings’ don’t rise to the status of belief. trumpanzees dominate discussion of educational alternatives – especially when and where they are incompetent – with lies, fear, loathing and violence. All they can ever contribute to any conversation is denial and disinformation.
Communism is truly a functional ideation. It may have its origin as a theory within Economics. The version we have observed in and derivative from The collapsed Soviet Union is in no way a liberal exercise in political power or economic distribution of resources. It, along with the examples of national “socialism” visited on Europe contiguous to WW-II, is a ‘rite’-wing liturgy to consolidate power, wealth and educational opportunities within a community of structural discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or social status. The Soviet Union then, Russia now, China and the trumpanzees here are soul mates of hypocrisy and reactionary political and economic distribution of power, wealth and status.
The violence being used since the “stolen election” may win this dispute. Political backbone is not a naturally occurring quality of life, but it is an absolute necessity to deter the domination of the violence promised by the trumpanzees, “proud boyz and oath-keepers. I don’t expect back bone from political animals. I do, though, reward it with support and votes.
If you are an adult discussing education you should probably know what equity means. Just a thought 🙄 otherwise your advice will do nothing but bring our children to the same level of “intelligence”.
Deborah Coffey says
Really, I can’t get past “a pentacle of CRT.” The next time the Board meets, it needs to ban all future decisions that promote White Supremacy.
Bill C says
Exactly what is so offensive about the word “equity”? The school board’s “strategic plan” is nothing more than a way to rewrite history and erase the injustices of racism. It is depriving students of accurate insight and knowledge, the goal of a good education.
Oh you don’t like it so just rewrite history? Newsflash, the term equity in this context does nothing more that reopen old wounds of racism and injustice. This in fact will just divide students on the line of race, gender, and creed. What is so difficult to see about that? Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you get to rewrite the history that is the most ridiculous elitist thing I have heard all week. Honestly who do you think you are? What ivory tower do you occupy that grants you to rewrite history? Not all history is glamorous so we should all learn from the good and the bad. This is so we don’t make those mistakes in the future. This term in the context of education can only recoil our hard work. We need to capitalize on the progress humans made over the years not erase the mistakes.
Pissed in my pants says
Jim: Don’t waste your breathe , this is the same person who put Fauci on the same level with Galileo and Michelangelo. LOL
Exactly and it’s CRT – as defined by NASB. That’s why it will and should go.
Merrill Shapiro says
We can only hope that, one day, MacDonald, Massaro and Woolbright will read our Declaration of Independence, especially the part upon which our Founders agreed that “All men are created equal. ” We all have equity!
Thank goodness we have one American, Colleen Conklin, on our School Board. We need to elect more Americans to our School Board!
We are only equal under the law. Otherwise we are all wonderfully different individual Americans.
Equal under the law? Ha ok whatever you say.
Ray W. says
Both Merrill Shapiro and Erobot posted interesting comments.
Equity, like the phrase quantum meruit, have long traditions under English law, including the common law, on which many of the foundations of our liberal democratic Constitution republic were poured by our founding fathers and constructed by the various state governments and the federal government ever since.
Quantum meruit is a method by which mediators may help guide the determination of the value a person’s work, i.e., his personal services to another, when one disputes what one’s work is worth in instances where there is no written or oral contract to establish a previously agreed-upon value.
The noun “equity” has four main definitions, with the most common definition pertaining to “the quality of being fair and impartial”, with synonyms including the terms “justness” and “justice”, concepts that bring English Courts of Chancery into the discussion. The other three lesser used definitions involve the value of one’s business holdings, e.g., equity in a stock; the value of one’s real property, e.g., the value of one’s home, after deducting mortgages and other encumbrances; and, the value of an English actor’s “Equity Card”, which is the trade union proof of membership that allows an English actor to work.
At the time of our founding fathers, English law courts did not address concepts of fair play, as the law was blind to those ideas. The Courts of Chancery were created to address this issue, bringing equity into the method by which disputes might be resolved. There has been a long struggle in America to incorporate equity into our various courts of law, yet we can see hints of this in the differences between a Florida court designating a judgment of guilt or withholding of guilt (when I last researched this, a significant majority of state courts and the federal courts do not recognize withholds of adjudications of guilt), and a separate sentence in each criminal case. Whether to withhold adjudication of guilt and the imposition of a sentence unique to each defendant may be considered acts of equity that embrace the idea of fair play.
I write this because, once again, I dined last night with an old friend, whom I might describe as a hard-core so-called conservative in the Trump mold, though his beliefs long predate Trump and I would not describe him as a white nationalist. I delivered a needed electrical part that I had found in a Volusia store that he couldn’t find in St. Augustine stores. He is simply someone who holds beliefs that I strongly disagree with but also is a person I have always liked and enjoyed verbally jousting with, akin to my friendship with Steve Gosney. Perhaps, we just respect each other too much to allow our differences to intrude into the friendship.
During dinner, my old friend brought up the topic of equity, which immediately brought out spirited comments and arguments. He wanted to limit the issue to one definition, which was the current so-called conservative talking point of the day. I argued that, like many or perhaps most political concepts, there are probably 50 different ropes pulling the discussion in different directions and the effort to limit the discussion to just one of the many attached ropes vastly distorts the overall picture that one needs in order to properly envision the dispute. I pointed out that both political parties have a strong tendency to try to steer an issue into one extremely narrow definition, thereby distorting the issue beyond all possible recognition and making resolution impossible. To this point, and this point only, he agreed (equity remains an unresolved issue between us). As an example, I explained to my old friend that early in my childhood, and many times since until my father passed away, he told me of one of the very first cases he handled as a justice of the peace in 1958. The governor had removed the previous justice of the peace for malfeasance in office and local business leaders had approached my father to accept the governor’s appointment to serve out the remainder of the term. Initially, my father refused, arguing that he was an advocate, not a judge, but he reluctantly accepted, stating that he would serve out the term and then decline to run for reelection (he didn’t run for reelection). The constable called out a case involving a local Black woman, but instead of addressing her as “Jane Doe”, he called her Miss Jane, as was the custom of the day. My father asked his constable (also an elected position), if Jane Doe had given him permission to address her in that way. My father stated that the constable reacted as if my father had struck him across the face. The event reverberated throughout the Black community in Daytona Beach. The constable always addressed Black litigants by their proper names after that. Any FlaglerLive reader can see the influence of my father’s stories in my comments, because I always address my comments to Mr. Tristam and to other comments by the names they use in their editorials and individual comments. I argued to my old friend that the effort to reduce any discussion to one single thread is an old political tactic, used to distort the issue in an effort to persuade the gullible to reject the opposing party’s position. In this way, our current governor uses this tactic to distort the term “woke” or the term “CRT” into something that does not reflect what each term actually means, but the gullible accept the new meaning, without ever trying to learn what the term originally meant. Of course, members of the other party do the same thing. In this way, respect for other people and their ideas is destroyed and discourse becomes cheapened to the point that resolution of issues becomes impossible and political discourse useless and valueless.
Equity, in today’s political climate, no longer means what it has always meant and the many of the gullible think they now “own the libs.” The gullible cannot own anything when they are wandering around fooling themselves, though we are all losing in the process.
Was Putin right when he asserted to a western reporter that liberalism has become “obsolete”? Was then-EU President Tusk right when he retorted that if that were so, then the rule of law, freedoms, and respect for human rights, on which liberalism is based, has also become obsolete?
Are we veering away from a centuries long struggle to establish and strengthen a respect-based society built on justice for all towards a vengeance-based society?
Thanks for yoir thoughtful reply. In this case it is.clear what equity is intended to mean because it is defined by the NASB. More on the meaning of “equity” can be found in Biden’s social spending bill.
Ray W. says
I do not mean to limit the possible definitions of equity to the four listed above. As I have previously posted, one of my professors at Chapel Hill prompted the class to search the dictionary for the word that had the most definitions. He eventually named “run” as the most widely defined word, with 105 different definitions at that time. About three years ago, I posed the idea to the Public Defender’s appellate division. With internet searches now available, it became one of life’s many 20 minutes diversions, with several young attorneys immediately researching the issue. Run had grown in scope to encompass over 400 definitions in the 35 years since I attended that course, but it had dropped to number two on the most widely defined list, though I forget now the number one most widely defined term. I accept that “equity” can have more than four meanings. In time, the dictionary may add others to the list. However, distorting a word’s meaning for political advantage may also include a malicious facet, which should be avoided or rejected by those who recognize the malicious intent being wielded by the politician. To the politically gullible, however, …….
Jonathan P HUBBERT says
Hence as you have so eloquently noted we have a Constitution that lives with social changes rather than having a single meaning attributed to circumstances on the day of its commissioning.
Excellent, and thank you very much.
Alas, Socrates, I believe, if he were here now, would ask if “they” could make the hemlock a double.
“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”
Ray W. says
Thank you, Pogo.
Perhaps, the Socratic ideal set in The Cave might provoke some thoughtful discussion.
I do not hold myself out as a scholar in Greek philosophy. An intrigued student, at best.
In The Cave, Socrates introduces an idea that we all begin life inhabiting a cave while chained to a post by our ignorance, with a fire burning behind us. All we can see are distorted shadows and visions created by the firelight that are reflected on the walls in front of us. We cannot turn around to see the fire burning behind us. When one of us breaks free and begins to explore the cave, she may notice a different light in the distance. Steadily climbing toward the light, she eventually emerges from the cave into daylight, where she can more clearly see the world around her. Socrates describes the search for knowledge as the climb towards the light. Only when she is fully educated in philosophy, mathematics, rhetoric and the other liberal arts of his day can she fully comprehend the light. When she returns to the cave to free others from their chains, many will disbelieve her tale of seeing the light and refuse to be freed, forever believing that the shadows and visions created by the firelight constitute the real world.
Welcome to communist palm coast! What a shame the board didn’t stand up for our country and freedom of speech that so many died for!! Totally unacceptable!
Lance Carroll says
Three cheers for Colleen Conklin. Actions speak louder than words. Who’d of thought that equity would become an “inappropriate” word? Let’s chase real estate equity and leave the equity of education in the dust? Maybe we will find that blue jeans are not blue after all? But, definitely, Coleen Conklin is true blue. Actions, speak louder than words….
Mary Koonce says
Unbelievable!!!!What are you teaching kids? Nothing truthful that’s for sure.Keep caving to all these Putin wannabes.
Equity means students receive tutoring, 504s, IEPs, etc. What a horrid concept.
Kenneth Davis says
This is embarrassing, They all should be voted out. Racist parents afraid of equity should home school little Billy
Welcome to Flagler County and Palm Coast where domestic terrorist and communist are among us.
Equity is about equal outcomes not based on merit. Equity is boys who think they’re girls beating your girls at sports. Equity is those same boys changing and in bathrooms with your young daughters. Iy IS AND HAS NEEN A COMMINIST CATCH PHRASE. If you don’t know these things, you are willfully ignorant and a useful idiot.
Just Saying says
To-date I have been mostly in agreement with your statements since you were elected to the Board. I am deeply disappointed to see you siding with “those two” on this issue. You have been a good, moderate addition to the Board. Apparently, your ankle is now caught in the leghold trap of the ultra right propaganda mongers and your spine has softened. A pity.
Equal for You says
Here we go with all the ANTI-TRUMP comments. You people really need some professional mental help. The “KIDS” are fine. They will learn about “equity” when they get out of “brainwashing school” and out in the real world. I hear Biden now wants to TAX the “Equity” in your house over 25% more then you pay on Property tax….. There, how do you like that EQUITY ?
The dude says
As usual with you orange cultists what you “hear” and reality are completely divergent.
Concerned Citizen says
This morning I got a huge laugh listening to Joe Mullins on the radio.
Mullins was lamenting that the citizens of this county aren’t represented by the various boards equally. No really? it starts with the BOCC!!
Mullins himself has been investigated for numerous offenses. He got on the air and called for the beheading of a specific target. In a time that our children are being continuously arrested for threats of violence at school. No actions were taken then either. I guess it is nice to be protected by the Sheriff.
Our BOCC tries to operate in the dark. Thankfully Commissioner Dance tries to take a stand. And makes sure Florida Sunshine laws are enforced.
My word of advice to the BOCC is before you start pointing fingers at other boards get your own house in order first.
Flagler County Schools are becoming a danger to our children and the future. Flagler County is showing us that it chooses to harm our children’s education and well being. No More Public School in Flagler County
the demons are having a fit beacuese they lost again, people are waking up
waht happened deomocrats you lost in virgina what a honest race you couldnot steal
and many more are comming but thats right when a conservative win s it racisim
you are blind fools excuse me the lt governor is black and has brains and knows
the education system is going down the drain with woke garbarage and lgbtq garbage
from hell. proverbs 29-2 when the righteous are in authority the people rejoice but when
the wicked beareth rule the people mourn. ite not trump folks its standing for righteous
and america has lost it.
You are right Chuck, the Repubs did ein in Va. I didn’t hear a Dem. the election was stolen, like that bug mouth lying for nothing Putin loving lying basted Trump. We no how to take a defeat and figure what we did wrong . By the way even the conservative Supreme didn’t go as low as the big liar to say the election was stolen. If it was stolen, Trump is still the former president. Many Repubs think like him and are living on the streets.
Chuck the people have been morning ever since Trump got into office. They are beginning to smile since he lost the fair election.
I think the school board vote on the word ” equity” is a little ridiculous. Equity means fairness and to equate that it leads to collectivism, which leads to socialism and communism is a stretch of the imagination, a great stretch.
To say equity is a pentacle of CRT is totally ridiculous, what were you thinking.
Mark Fleet says
I’m ashamed for the school board that they allowed a some small-minded people to intimidate them into removing an important goal. You may want to look up the word “equity” in the dictionary. It’s essentially the basis upon which this country was formed.
Next they’ll want to remove “With liberty and justice for all” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Why are these people so afraid of others in the community who do not think and act in lockstep with their close-minded views?
Since “Equity” simply means providing everyone with what they need to succeed. . . why in the world would our school board NOT understand that an “excellent” education system does exactly that? Unless, they are implying that we should NOT be striving for “excellence”. . . Mediocre/Unequal education must be good enough for them. Disgraceful!
So sorry to disagree Steve. . . unfortunately, although our founders wrote the inspirational statement that “All Men Are Created Equal”. . . while it could be perceived as a truth of some sort at the moment of birth. . . “We” as a society/culture do not enjoy anything close to “Equity”. Apparently there are those on our School Board who believe that schools should not even have “Equity” as a goal. They would apparently prefer to “de-evolve” away from a truly educated populace. . . their ignorance truly is their bliss. It’s now tragically the Republican way for many.
Disgusting, disheartening, and epically stupid. By enabling racists and racism, you are willfully choosing ignorance and sullying your own backyard.
Surely the good people of Flagler Co realize that Equity has been redefined in the greater culture wars? And no, that redefinition has not been done by those on the right. It’s the folks on the far-left who now talk about equity in terms of forced outcomes. They talk about equity in the context of assuming anything short of statistical equality between groups is the fault of white people or is evidence that the system itself must be destroyed.
In Virginia, Equity is the reason the state turned against honors studies and advanced programs. It’s the reason the Dems lost there. Because the voters made it clear that they don’t want schools and curriculum to become racialized. The term equity is a part of that.
Parents in Flagler, in Virginia, and elsewhere in the country aren’t upset by “vague pressure” as this author suggests, but by real concerns that student support and resources will be allocated based on race, not on need or merit. If a student is underperforming, isn’t it the job of the school district to help them, regardless of race? Or are black underperformers more worthy of extra help than white underperformers? If it’s always been the job of the school to help kids learn, then why do you need an extra statement to get there? Just do it. And do it for all kids, regardless of race or “representation”.
Nancy N. says
Extremely disappointed in Massaro for going along with this insanity. I expected the clown show from the other two, but not from her.
B Parker says
We’re all a little tired of the cute, inscrutable virtue verbage of the woke pseudo intellectuals who increasingly find their safe space on public school boards.
Equity is the increase in value of ownership and to be fair. Anything else is nonsense by someone looking to increase their own authority over another. I’m a college drop-out and that took me 2 seconds. These people are teaching your kids.
Obviously the parents do not like or want that word or CRT used with the teaching of their kids. Public schools are funded by those parents and parents have a say in what is taught to their kids. Even though the democrats don’t think they do.
Consider this definition of Equity in Education (from Wikipedia). . . which has “NOTHING” to do with CRT. . . except on FOX/Facebook/etc. :
Educational equity, also referred to as “Equity in education”. . . Ostensibly, it is a measure of achievement, fairness, and opportunity in education. The study of education equity is often linked with the study of excellence and equity.
Educational equity depends on two main factors. The first is fairness, which implies that factors specific to one’s personal conditions should not interfere with the potential of academic success. The second important factor is inclusion, which refers to a comprehensive standard that applies to everyone in a certain education system. These two factors are closely related and depend on each other for an educational system’s success. This is one of the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal in recognition of the importance of education equity.
The growing importance of education equity is based on the premise that an individual’s level of education directly correlates to future quality of life. Therefore, an academic system that practices educational equity is a strong foundation of a society that is fair and thriving. However, inequity in education is challenging to avoid, and can be broken down into inequity due to socioeconomic standing, race, gender or disability. Educational equity is also based in the historical context of the location, people and structure. History shapes the outcome of individuals within the education system.
Why would any reasonable, educated school board member be against Educational Equity? Obviously the operative words here are “reasonable and educated”. Right Winged Extremists like Mac Donald and Woolbright are dangerous. . . VOTE them out!
GEEZ! @detroitgirl and others . . . Please educate yourself on Critical Race Theory from a “credentialed source”. CRT is not currently being taught in elementary and high schools. . . contrary to all the “hysteria” on FOX/Facebook:
@equal for you. . . Please do not post BS from FOX/Facebook. . . wherever! The word Equity can be applied to more than the equity in one’s home or other financial investment. GEEZ!
Regarding your FALSE (NOT 25% far from it!) claim about President Biden’s tax plan. . . here are the actual FACTS. . . which shows significant additional taxes only for the wealthy. . . please read it “ALL” :
VERIFY asked several certified public accountants to review the figures outlined in the Facebook post to see if they are accurate. The CPAs said, overall, they are.
But the example in the social media post does include a higher capital gains tax rate (20 percent) than most Americans actually pay, which exaggerates the totals.
Inherited house at current value – $200,000
Sells for $205,000
Taxable income = $5,000
Taxes Due – 20% of $5,000 = $1,000
Profit to you = $204,000
Inherited house at original purchase price – $40,000
Sells for $205,000
Taxable income = $165,000
Taxes Due – 20% of $165,000 = $33,000
Profit to you = $172,000
According to the IRS, only individuals with annual taxable incomes more than $441,450 (or married couples earning more than $496,000) are taxed at a 20 percent rate on their capital gains.
Those who earn between $40,000 and $441,450 (between $80,000 and $496 for married couples) pay a 15 percent capital gains rate, while individuals earning less than $40,000 (less than $80,000 for a couple) pay no capital gains at all.
“One of the knocks against the step-up basis is some people believe it only benefits the rich,” said Steven Schultz, a CPA based in New York. “If you own a home, you get a step-up basis. If you rent for 20 years, you get no step-up basis. The step-up generally favors the wealthy, and it makes it a lot easier to sell [inherited real estate] and cash in. If the step-up basis is eliminated, a lot of people will think twice about selling the real estate.”
CRT- SOME MUCH NEEDED FACTS-
NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) – Critical race theory, a once-obscure academic concept that has sparked school board protests and classroom bans in some states, is largely misunderstood among the general public, even by those who say they are familiar with what it teaches about racism in America, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The national opinion survey taken on Monday and Tuesday found that 57% of adults said they were not familiar with the term, also known by its shorthand, CRT, which asserts that racism is woven into the U.S. legal system and ingrained in its primary institutions.
Many of those who said they were familiar with it answered follow-up questions that showed they embraced a variety of misconceptions about critical race theory that have been largely circulating among conservative media outlets.
For example, 22% of those who said they were familiar with critical race theory also think it is taught in most public high schools. It is not.
Thirty-three percent believe it “says that white people are inherently bad or evil” or that “discriminating against white people is the only way to achieve equality.” It does not.
Among respondents who said they were familiar with CRT, only 5% correctly answered all seven true-false questions that the poll asked about the history and teachings of critical race theory. Only 32% correctly answered more than four of the seven questions.
The poll showed that a bipartisan majority of Americans say that high school students should learn about slavery and racism in America. Yet respondents were more opposed to teaching critical race theory, which maintains that the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow racial segregation laws continues to create an uneven playing field for nonwhite Americans.
Thank You Enough and again Ray W. . .
In re-reading the posts here, I essentially see one side (the right winged FOX/Facebook cult) hysterically “ranting” about CRT although they have no actual idea of what it entails, and do not seem to understand that it is NOT the focus of every elementary and high school class.
Then, there are several educated, reasonable, logical people doing their best to talk those who have been whipped into a frenzy off the ledge.
Please, for the love of your children/grandchildren, yourself and our Democracy. . . calm down, get off of Facebook for a couple of hours, tune out of FOX and into the BBC/PBS. Read articles about CRT from credentialed sources like the AP News, Newsweek, Routers, Politico, the Washington Post and this excellent article from the American Bar Association:
Educationally, equity=access=a level playing field=fear of loss of status quo=paranoia. Our public education process, much like our democracy is inherently fluid, not static. Clinging to how it used to be is an exercise in futility. No wonder so many are frustrated, exhausted and lashing out. Regardless, these feelings and behaviors have no business in the same room where policy is being purposefully considered. It seems what occurred at this most recent meeting was a knee-jerk response to aforementioned hype and in no way resembling purposeful or careful, analytical consideration of how the word found its way in the policy to begin with. Is it too far gone a conclusion that the elected representatives of Flagler County’s academic board engage in due diligence? Or are their days too filled with consuming and spreading conspiracy theories