Category Archives: Education

NAACP leader calls Loudoun County Public Schools’ diversity training ‘a joke’

In response to community criticism over the lack of diversity of its teaching staff, Loudoun County Public Schools is offering a “diversity training workshop” to all of its hiring managers this summer. A local NAACP leader says the effort is “a joke.”

LCPS_SealThe Loudoun chapter of the NAACP began pressing the school system to be more aggressive in hiring minority teachers in November when a school district report showed 88 percent of its teachers are white while 48 percent of its students are non-white. A community meeting on the subject was hosted by the school division and two parent groups in December. Shortly after the meeting, the School Board added money to its budget for the summer diversity training and to hire a personnel specialist to focus on the issue. The Loudoun NAACP says the school system’s latest efforts are not enough to combat the problem. The group says it plans on filing federal complaints about various “racial inequities” within the school system.

Read more in the Loudoun Times-Mirror

Thompson: Tolerance or Intolerance? Racial issues in schools warrant action by LCPS

Over the last 15 months since taking over as President of the Loudoun County NAACP, our organization has watched Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) flail its way through a series of racially charged issues with seeming abstinence to the fact that there is a community out here that is not only LCPS_Sealimpacted by its decisions, but, more importantly is paying attention to those decisions. As with the attempt to name a public school after a long dead racist segregationist or the perceived effort to re-segregate schools in Leesburg, it seemed that the decision makers in LCPS either believed that the residents were not paying attention to their proposals or that maybe they could not read or conduct basic research on the facts. Either way, in both instances, when the public raised concerns, some of these decision makers decided to attack the people questioning these proposals instead of listening to the community’s concerns.

Read more in the Loudoun Times-Mirror

Loudoun Public Schools host discussion on teacher diversity

More than 50 parents, community members and school staff discussed Loudoun’s teacher diversity on Dec. 9.

LCPS_SealSchool administrators, the Minority Student Achievement Council (MSAC), the NAACP and teachers shared their views on how the division can diversify its teaching staff at the Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents’ meeting at LCPS’ administrative offices.

The discussion was organized in response to figures in the school system’s annual report on ethnic make up, gender and education levels of students and teachers.

According to the report, 48 percent of the school division’s student body is non-white and 88 percent of its workforce is white.

“I hear stories of discrimination towards students and teachers across this division,” said Diana Lopez, Spanish teacher at J. L. Simpson Middle School in Leesburg. “With changing demographics in Loudoun, teachers need to be prepared to teach students from various backgrounds.”

Lopez said any efforts to create a more diverse teaching staff must start with “ensuring that LCPS has a reputation for being supportive of minority teachers.”

…Phillip Thompson, president of the Loudoun County chapter of the NAACP, said his organization would like to get funding from corporations in the county to give scholarships to future teachers still in school, with the understanding that they will come back to teach in Loudoun.

“We’ve got huge corporations in this county with lots and lots of money and we’ve got to figure out a way to use that money to recruit quality minority teaching staff,” he said.

Read more in the Loudoun Times-Mirror

Loudoun’s black, Hispanic and disabled students more likely to be suspended

Black, Hispanic and learning disabled students have a higher risk of being suspended, according to a report released by Loudoun County Public Schools in November.

LCPS_SealBlack students are two-and-a-half times more likely to be suspended than the overall student population, a rate higher than the national average. Hispanic students are two times more likely to be suspended and disabled students are three times more likely to be suspended, both on par with national statistics.

“[Discipline] disproportionality continues to be an issue for us. It’s an issue for the nation as a whole as well,” said Ryan Tyler, supervisor of research for LCPS, at the Dec. 1 School Board meeting. “In the last couple of years we’re not quite starting to make an impact on it as of yet.”

Read more in the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

Loudoun NAACP calls for more minority teachers at LCPS

The president of the Loudoun chapter of the NAACP is pressing the county’s school system to be more aggressive in hiring minority teachers.

LCPS_SealThe call for action comes after Loudoun County Public Schools released its annual report on the ethnic makeup, gender and education levels of students and teachers within the system.

The report shows that 48 percent of the school system’s student body is non-white while 88 percent of the teacher workforce is white.

“You cannot tell me that if minorities have moved into Loudoun County to make up fully 48 percent of the student population, minority teachers of the same race and ethnicity as the parents and students who live in this county will not move here to teach these kids. That excuse is not logical nor is it legitimate. To me these numbers represent a ‘prima facie,’” Loudoun County NAACP chapter president Phillip E. Thompson said in an email to the Times-Mirror.

Wayde Byard, spokesman for Loudoun County Public Schools, said the problem is one facing school districts nationwide.

Read more in the Loudoun Times-Mirror

LCPS School Board Unanimously Votes to Rescind John F. Ryan Name

naacp_logo_stacked_rgb_alia1Statement by NAACP, Loudoun Branch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2015

ASHBURN, VA – Last night the Loudoun County Public School Board voted unanimously to rescind the name John F. Ryan as the name of MS-9 (Middle School 9). The decision to name the school was originally made at the June 9, 2015 meeting. The middle school will sit in the Brambleton community in the Dulles District.

Phillip Thompson, the President of the Loudoun Branch of the NAACP originally brought the issue to the attention of school board member Bill Fox (Leesburg). Mr. Thompson was able to determine in about 15 minutes of research that Mr. Ryan was one of the Architects of Jim Crow in the State of Virginia during the early 1900’s. Mr. Ryan and his leadership cabal were instrumental in the disenfranchisement of thousands of Black and poor White Virginians. They also put in place the initial segregation apparatus whose impact can still be seen today at the Courthouse in Leesburg, where the names of white and black veterans are still separated despite it being 40 plus years since the Jim Crow laws were struck down.

Continue reading LCPS School Board Unanimously Votes to Rescind John F. Ryan Name

NAACP Responds to Academic Achievement Gap and Suspension Rate

UntitledLEESBURG, Va. (April 15, 2015) – The Loudoun County NAACP was not in total shock with the findings of the Minority Student Achievement Committee and the Discipline Committee’s (MSAAC) findings of the achievement gap widening and higher suspension rates among minorities when compared to non-minorities. There are a number of factors that lend it to these numbers, but, in the end, it is the child, the student and ultimately the community that pays the price.

Continue reading NAACP Responds to Academic Achievement Gap and Suspension Rate

Virginia school board withdraws approval of two history textbooks

Still in use in Loudoun County?

According to the Washington Post, the Virginia school board has withdrawn approval of two history textbooks found to contain numerous factual errors.

Our Virginia: Past and Present is a fourth-grade Virginia social studies textbook, and Our America to 1865 is a fifth-grade text on U.S. history. Both are, as of late March, in use in Loudoun County Public Schools.

Among the many errors found in these “textbooks” is the suggestion that slaves, the human property of others, served “voluntarily” in the Confederate army.

The assertion is often made by Confederate heritage groups but is rejected by most historians. The book’s author, Joy Masoff, is not a trained historian.

School districts are not obligated to remove the books even though the state has withdrawn its approval. Many districts, including Fairfax and Arlington counties, withdrew the books from classrooms. Loudoun County, where the books are still in use, has not decided how it will respond to the board’s vote, according to spokesman Wayde Byard [emphasis added].

Request for resignation of Superintendent Hatrick

naacp_logo_stacked_rgb_alia1The Loudoun County Branch NAACP
P.O. Box 2439
Leesburg, VA 20177-7724
Voice Mail: 703-779-2990


April 21, 2009

Edgar B. Hatrick, Superintendent
Loudoun County Public Schools
21000 Education Court
Ashburn, VA 20148

Dear Superintendent Hatrick:

The Loudoun County Branch NAACP appreciates the time you spent in coming to speak to our general membership meeting on March 16th. However, our membership was very disappointed in your responses to the questions we had submitted to you prior to your presentation. We have significantly different perceptions of disparities in the Loudoun County Public Schools in regard to minority students. Importantly, our perceptions are based on LCPS’ own data submitted either to the Virginia Department of Education or directly to us as a result of three FOIA requests, and your presentation appeared to be based on incomplete data and percentages without their accompanying hard numbers.

Continue reading Request for resignation of Superintendent Hatrick

What’s in a name?

“Graduation on time” rates versus actual dropout numbers

Loudoun County Public Schools continues to use percentages rather than hard numbers when touting “achievements.” The percentages relating to “graduation on time” and “dropout rates” are complicated state constructs, utilizing formulas and algorithms. According to the Virginia Department of Education website, the actual dropout numbers for the 2007-2008 graduation class, i.e., the number of students who dropped out 9th-12th grade, are:

Total Dropouts: 173

By ethnicity:

Asian: 11 (6%) Black: 42 (24%) Hispanic: 60 (35%) White: 60 (35%)

According to LCPS’ response to our FOIA request, the proportion by ethnicity of the 2007-2008 LCPS student population was:

Asian: 13% Black: 8% Hispanic: 13% White: 64%

The disparities are obvious for Black and Hispanic students versus White and Asian students. If your ethnic group comprises 8% of the student population and 24% of the dropouts, or 13% of the student population and 35% of the dropouts, while the majority population has 64% of the student population and 35% of the dropouts, something is significantly wrong.

Continue reading What’s in a name?