Ashley Murray for School Board~ Letter to the Editor

Posted on 04-02-2021


A vote for Ashley Murray is a vote for education

April 2, 2021

I recently passed by an election sign for Janis Hanwell, who is running for the Cape Henlopen school board for at-large board seat. I was struck by the issues she feels are important: diversity, inclusion and equity. This agenda is a virtue signal to the woke left but does absolutely nothing to address the educational deficiencies in the school. In what world is a 33 percent proficiency in math acceptable? While 58 percent proficiency in reading/language is certainly better, it too has significant room for improvement. Shouldn’t these be the areas of focus at Cape Henlopen High School?

Sadly, this agenda is not uncommon in many high schools across the state and country. The diversity and inclusion issues are a little surprising as the demographics of the student population is something they have no control over. The minority teacher population in most cases already exceeds that of the minority student population, so again there is little to be done.

The academic issues are far more troubling. Schools are increasingly embracing the teaching of the 1619 Project, which presents the arrival of slaves in America as the defining event in the county’s history. While it was a significant event, it was not the defining event and was only a small part of our history. We should teach it all, good and bad, with accuracy and without bias.

Another issue increasingly permeating our schools is the teaching of critical race theory. This theory essentially teaches people to hate their country and hate one another. It teaches people to judge others based on their physical characteristics rather than the content of their character, contrary to Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs.

We used to call this racism and still should. It condemns social norms like objectivity, respect for authority, delayed gratification, individualism, politeness, hard work, self-reliance, logic, planning, and family cohesion as white values contributing to “systemic racism.” It places people in three categories: victims, oppressors, and those who might save themselves by becoming “allies” of the victims.

To understand how this plays out, in Oregon, the state’s education department is promoting A Pathway to Math Equity, intended to train public school teachers on how to dismantle racism in mathematics instruction.

“We see white supremacy culture show up in the mathematics classroom even as we carry out our professional responsibilities,” declares the teachers’ guide. “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false. … Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuates objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”  I’m sure our global competitors will be thrilled to hear we no longer seek the correct answers in math, as not much gets built without the correct answer.

We are asked to believe that more than 50 years of affirmative action programs and race consciousness have done nothing to change the trajectory or opportunities of people born without white skin. That is simply not backed up by fact. If Black America were a country, it’d be the 15th wealthiest nation in the world. Sadly, education has now embraced white privilege indoctrination, where white Americans are viewed as guilty oppressors. This is a cancer, and we should resist its promotion in our schools.

Janis Hanwell’s three check boxes: diversity, inclusion and equity, seem to hint at her support for this type of indoctrination. Her opponent, Ashley Murray, seems far more focused on education. She’s a proponent for fully reopening schools and keeping parents aware of what their children are being taught. An educational focus on difficult academic issues is required to keep us competitive in the world. Dumbing down our curriculum to achieve greater equity will only succeed in making us equally dumb and poor.  A vote for Ashley Murray is a vote for education rather than indoctrination. Get involved and vote; your country is at stake.

Hylton Phillips-Page
Rehoboth Beach