Although FEI is appreciative of the opportunity to lend perspective in yesterday’s NYT article, we are angered and dismayed at the many voices left out entirely, including our own FEI member, Dr. Sharma’s, FULL perspective. Dr. Sharma’s work as a researcher specifically focuses on racial and socioeconomic health disparities, which is why he and FEI have advocated for proven solutions to narrowing the opportunity gap in our schools, rather than the proposed superficial band-aids. FEI publicly supports efforts to balance school capacity and separately address the achievement gap. We opposed the superintendent’s plan NOT because we are anti-desegregation, but because the plan was flawed from its inception and will not provide an equitable outcome for our entire County’s students. We are firmly anti-racism and passionately support solutions that will “do no harm” to ALL children. For more information on FEI’s position, visit https://hoco-fei.com/support-of-new-plan.
Additionally, FEI denounces attempts to divide our communities and pit one school or group against another. We’ve learned from our members that many children and parents across the County were interviewed by the NYT, but only two high schools were unfairly pitted against each other. President Barack Obama could have very well been speaking to our County when he addressed the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago recently. He condemned, head-on, the worrisome trend for activists to attempt to drive change simply by being “as judgmental as possible about other people.” The act of public shaming, President Obama said, is “not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.” We must remember that we are stronger together, and through considering and listening to diverse perspectives, we will arrive at the best solutions.
We refuse to allow biased news to go unaddressed and encourage our community members to constructively share their voices with the NYT. These letters can only be 150-175 words, and must be submitted within 7 days of an article’s publish date – more information can be found along with instructions here: https://help.nytimes.com/hc/en-us/articles/115014925288-How-to-submit-a-letter-to-the-editor.