DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The newly-elected Douglas County School District Board of Education approved a resolution in a 4-3 vote Tuesday night that recommends changes to an educational equity policy implemented by the previous board.
Last year, the old board approved an Educational Equity policy, which would take an approach to the curriculum with diversity and inclusion in mind.
Under that policy, the district would create and implement a system to identify and fix practices that disproportionately impact particular groups and has appointed an equity advisory committee that would be in charge of things like approving textbooks and novels and providing feedback about equity in the district.
The resolution the board discussed Tuesday, called the Culture of Individual Excellence and Inclusion, says that the board "fully supports" the goal of this policy but that because questions have arisen about its underlying assumptions and implementation, they would recommend potential changes.
> Watch a replay of the meeting here
The recommended changes will be presented to the board no later than September.
The resolution says those changes would be consistent with the district's mission and a set of principles laid out in the document, which include:
- The Douglas County community wants every student and staff member to feel welcome, have a sense of belonging, and have the opportunity to thrive in Douglas County Schools.
- The School District’s Mission requires freedom from any policy or practice that wrongfully imposes stereotypical beliefs, actions, and experiences of an identity group(s) upon an individual student.
- Our American aspirations have not always been achieved, to include, for example, the horrors of race-based slavery and segregation, and that this understanding has been and will continue to be a part of every child’s education in the Douglas County School District.
- Every student should be exposed to age-appropriate curricula designed to not only reflect the kind of balance referenced above, but also to build a strong foundation for critical thinking, the ability to engage in respectful debate of issues and ideas from multiple perspectives, and decency toward our fellow human beings.
- School District staff members will thrive in supporting our students and families in an environment where they can freely express views and opinions that may be counter to others’ views and opinions and are free from superficial attempts to ascribe group identity characteristics to his or her beliefs.
- The School District’s Mission requires the recognition and appreciation for our individual or group differences while also stressing the reality that we all share many common goals and needs and we should promote our common humanity to include achieving unique potential without forced equality of outcomes.
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