Alex Ford via Wikimedia Commons

School superintendents throughout the Commonwealth are pushing back against the Youngkin administration’s interim report on divisive concepts being taught in public schools.

Indeed, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents lambasted the report, declaring in an open letter that it made “gross assumptions” about the state of education in Virginia without soliciting input from local school officials.

The association represents 133 school divisions across Virginia.

Virginia Mercury adds:

Despite the lack of local involvement, Jillian Balow, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, concluded that “discriminatory and divisive concepts” had become widespread in public school divisions.

Balow said the letter did not express her willingness to engage with local administrators.

“The letter fails to reflect the good faith efforts of which the secretary and I joined the conversation,” she said in a statement to the Mercury. “The specific requests listed in the letter are actions that the secretary and I offered to the superintendents as a way to keep open productive channels of communication that could lead to partnership and ensure we are serving all students in Virginia.”

The letter, and later exchange, underscore tensions that have emerged as Youngkin attempts to make good on his campaign promises to ban critical race theory and implement what he’s described as much-needed reforms in Virginia schools. The interim report — which Youngkin on his first day in office tasked Balow with producing — made sweeping changes to VDOE policies that had been developed over the last three years.

In the meantime, the Youngkin administration is terminating virtually all of the equity initiatives proposed by the VDOE.