Nevada State Board of Education source of social justice standard

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 10:31 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada State Board of Education is the group mandating the social justice standard for elementary school students.

This group of policy makers has talked about diversity, equity, and inclusion for several years.

Deputy Superintendent for student achievement at the Nevada Department of Education Dr. Jonathan Moore PhD agreed to reveal the series of events leading to social justice becoming a new classroom standard.

”When you look at the state achievement of our black students and our students who identify as Hispanic they do continue to lag behind their peers who are white as well as Asian,” Dr. Moore said.

In 2018, the academic content standards were revised.

One content mandate falls under a multicultural theme, which includes “social justice, consciousness, and action.”

”Each school district is empowered to choose the instructional material through the State process,” Dr. Moore said.

Washoe County Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill organized the “Superintendent’s Task Force on Supplementary Materials.”

Eighteen people including teachers, parents, and community members were selected to oversee supplemental curriculum, which could include topics about diversity.

”Is critical race theory part of this curriculum?” asked KOLO 8 Evening Anchor Noah Bond.

”No, not at all. Not a part of our standards, not a part of the academic standards. I don’t know any school in Nevada that is teaching critical race theory,” Dr. Moore responded.

Bond asked Moore to share an example of how the State School Board would like to see the social justice standard play out in a Nevada classroom to illustrate the intent of this mandate.

”If I’m a teacher and I’m teaching kindergarten at the most fundamental level when I’m talking about social justice I’m introducing the students to, What is conflict? What are some ways in which we’ve seen conflict in our neighborhood? In our community? Even in our classroom and then how do we navigate conflict? and so that’s the most basic lead,” Dr. Moore said.

He says the State Board of Education would like kindergarten through third graders to understand conflict, fifth through seventh graders to understand conflict in a broader context, and freshman through seniors to take a more analytical approach to conflict.

“Depending on where I originated from or where my family may originate from geographically. How has conflict impacted me? And based on that conflict what then is my outlook according to the world in which we live?” Dr. Moore said.

He is inviting parents with concerns to talk with their child’s teacher and even leadership at the schools about the standards.

You can also click here to contact the State Board of Education about this topic.

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