CCPS Commitment to Curriculum Change

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Charlie Ferguson
Charlie Ferguson signed this petition

CCPS Commitment to Curriculum Change

Superintendent Dr. Stephen A. Lockard, BOE President Donna M. Sivigny, BOE VP Marsha B. Herbert, BOE Member Tara A. Battaglia, BOE Member Patricia S. Dorsey, BOE Member Kenneth A. Kiler, BOE Student Rep Jackson Klingenberg, Chief of Academics, Equity, and Accountability Jason Anderson, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Resources Angela McCaulsin, Acting Supervisor of Secondary Social Studies Joe Carr, Equity and Inclusion Officer Judith Jones

The section titled “Core Beliefs” on the CCPS website includes the following goals for all students: “Obtain the skills to thrive as independent 21st century learners”, “Become knowledgeable, responsible, and caring citizens”, “Respect and appreciate diversity among peers”. If these beliefs truly represent the educational goals of CCPS, there must be change in both curriculum and mindset.

As a white student in a predominantly white school system (students and staff), in a white majority county, I never once encountered an encouragement to participate in uncomfortable conversations on race during my four years at Westminster High School. Not once did I hear the term “white privilege” in a classroom. In fact, this absence is the epitome of white privilege. The large majority of students and teachers in Carroll County are white. We request an acknowledgement of the role this plays in having the voices of black students and teachers diminished and a commitment to make the needs and views of black students, teachers, and staff heard and prioritized. 

While we acknowledge the importance of self-inquiry regarding the topic of race, it is the role of the education system to establish a precedent for how to “become knowledgeable, responsible, and caring citizens.” Carroll County Public Schools must do better.

As for an area to commence mending the current curriculum which facilitates comfort for white students and does little to challenge the status quo, we demand that black authors and black narratives be made a priority in the English curriculum and texts highlighting black perspectives be used in Social Studies courses. Conversations on race and on the role white people play in perpetuating racism in the United States must become an integral component of primary and secondary public education. 

We acknowledge the current presence of some work by black authors already in the curriculum. From experience however, these works are disproportionately offered in upper level courses. There must be representation throughout all grades and course levels.

We write this request at a time where disparities against the black community in the United States are blatantly exposed. We wish to underscore that these changes in curriculum are a necessary step towards lasting change and must be advocated for at all levels of leadership even after the rate of public outcry decreases.

Finally, we request a response to this document which will lay out a concrete plan for how these goals will be promoted and achieved and not simply an empty statement of values.


Those impacted by the CCPS education

June 4, 2020

Drafted by Charlie Ferguson WHS Class of 2019