Fair Education Santa Barbara discusses SB Unified, Just Communities Central Coast
Editor’s note: Sheridan Rosenberg and James Fenkner are local parents and co-founders of Fair Education Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara Unified School District and its enablers (sometimes collectively referred to herein as “They” or “Their” and which at times includes the Santa Barbara media), have failed to acknowledge that Fair Education Santa Barbara’s groundbreaking lawsuit brought almost four years ago on behalf of Fair Education by its attorneys Eric Early and Peter Scott against the district and its former superintendent — who eventually unceremoniously resigned — and the curriculum’s purveyor, Just Communities Central Coast, was the very first lawsuit in America to fight what is now publicly known as critical race theory.
They fail to acknowledge that the lawsuit allowed Fair Education to obtain and publish for all parents in Santa Barbara County, the curriculum documents that They (or some of them) were intentionally hiding from public view.
For example, one such curriculum document titled, “Table of Oppression” segregates people, based on their race, into two groups such as privileged oppressors or targeted victims.
From their documents, it is evident that they have learned well from 1930s Germany and apartheid-era South Africa as to the power and effect of dehumanizing and dividing specific groups of people. They fail to acknowledge that Fair Education’s first-in-the-nation lawsuit lit the spark for the prairie fire that has spread across America, to provide parents with the information and knowledge needed to fight the racially divisive, anti-American, sexually over-the-top indoctrination occurring daily in our schools beginning in kindergarten.
They fail to acknowledge that Fair Education’s lead in the battle for America’s children, allowed it to also lend a helping hand to others such as The Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (www.fairforall.org), No Left Turn in Education (www.noleftturn.us), Color Us United (colorusunited.org), Californians for Equal Rights (cferfoundation.org) and Parents Defending Education (www.defendinged.org), who are all working hard to provide the intellectual antibodies necessary to address CRT’s “woke mind virus” and to take on the toxic orthodoxy of the woke industrial complex.
They fail to acknowledge that Fair Education’s lawsuit shed light on the secretive tactics of those posing as authority figures to children; tactics including demeaning, racially-charged bullying in “teacher trainings” or “DEI seminars,” and the willingness for school boards and administrators to enable and even encourage all this.
They fail to acknowledge that following Fair Education’s lead, there are now over a half dozen lawsuits making their way through courts around America specifically challenging CRT, with more to follow. They fail to acknowledge that Fair Education’s lawsuit would have succeeded even further if those who experienced the in-school hate firsthand had felt more secure several years back to go public with their experiences, and They further fail to acknowledge that thanks to the Fair Education pioneers in this fight, the reluctance of parents, children and educators to speak out publicly has begun to erode across America.
Courage is contagious.
BACKGROUND OF FAIR EDUCATION
Nearly four years ago, a group of Santa Barbara parents had become concerned that a divisive curriculum was being concealed from them. Rather than engage in “show and tell” with this taxpayer-funded curriculum, the Santa Barbara Unified School District engaged in “hide and seek.” Parents were told multiple times “NO,” when they requested documents describing the curriculum, and that it was simply too nuanced to be shared with the general public.
Santa Barbara’s parents were left with no choice. They sued to bring this curriculum to light.
Joined by educators and community members, Fair Education Santa Barbara, a California nonprofit, was formed.
Fair Education’s mission was and is to ensure that public education funds are spent so that each and every student receives the knowledge, critical thinking skills and character to succeed (www.faireducation.org).
Fair Education is composed of old-school dreamers who believe in the content of character, not the color of skin. Unlike the school district, Fair Education subscribes to: Diversity of Thought, Equality of Opportunity and Inclusivity for All.
Fair Education believes that every child is important and that all children should be educated to their highest, not lowest, individual potential. By their conduct, Fair Education’s adversaries in the lawsuit appear to believe just the opposite of all of the above.
Their pretext of using CRT to “close the achievement gap” Is undermined by the years of failure to help our children most in need contrary to the misinformation being trumpeted by the district.
Its radical indoctrination programs are not closing the achievement gap involving the students of color whom they claim to be helping.
By September 2019 (the last time statistics were released), and after spending more than $1 million of the school district’s taxpayer money on Just Communities for its “close the achievement gap” curriculum, the results were a disaster:
— Only 54% of the district’s students were at California State Proficiency levels in English. 46% were not.
— Only 45% of the district’s students were at California State Proficiency levels in math. 55% were not.
These statistics actually understate the dismal results in some of Santa Barbara’s poorest minority communities.
At McKinley Elementary School (95%+ percent Hispanic), for example, math proficiency was at an intolerable 9%. Furthermore, these unacceptably low results are from before 2020, when the response to the COVID-19 pandemic caused further learning loss.
Fair Education has reason to believe that the results of the District’s educational malpractice have deteriorated even further. The district did not return to in-person learning until spring 2021, waiving its option for students to return earlier in 2020. This information is compounded by the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury’s recent report that remote learning in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic led to severe learning loss within the district, and especially to already low-performing students.
Consequently, the justification given for the radical indoctrination programming – to close the achievement gap and to foster equity – is hogwash.
This lack of regard for student welfare was recently echoed by the egregious, sudden and underhanded removal of the high school sheriff deputy resource officers even after they acknowledged the 41% increase in crime and weapons on campus.
Fair Education’s advice to parents: Get involved, question everything and demand more from your government-run schools. Bigotry and hypersexualized indoctrination have no place in our schools or in our society. Ignore the racist woke cancel culture bullies and demand transparency.
Real oppression includes unacceptably low literacy and math proficiency among our district’s students. Make no mistake. The fight for our children has just begun.
Sheridan Rosenberg and James Fenkner
The authors are with Fair Education Santa Barbara