Earlier today, we told you about a major 'woke' battle underway in Florida Meanwhile, here's another update on a similar-but-different education firestorm that's been brewing in Northern Virginia, in which the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin has intervened. The quick upshot is that a prominent high school in heavily-Democratic Fairfax County was recently revealed to have deliberately withheld and delayed notifications of National Merit Scholar honors from qualifying students. This impacted college applications, and therefore undoubtedly affected admissions decisions. Imagine getting narrowly rejected from your dream college, in part because that college wasn't made aware that you'd earned National Merit Scholar accolades -- an oversight entirely caused by your ("equity"-minded, "equal outcomes" obsessed) high school intentionally not telling you that you'd earned it. It's outrageous.
This anti-excellence flap started with one school, then the list expanded to four, then seven or so -- and now 16. A state investigation is underway, as well it should be. The confessions keep coming in:
New: 16 schools in Northern Virginia have admitted they didn’t tell students of their national merit recognition in time for college scholarship and admissions deadlines.https://t.co/rpSgDihD69— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) January 17, 2023
FCPS has received national attention for the controversy, but the Fairfax County School Board has remained silent even though 7News has reached out to the school board several times for comment. “Unfortunately, it's more of the same,” said Shawnna Yashar, parent of a Fairfax County Public Schools student. “I mean, this school board has spent the last three years not putting academics at the forefront of their agenda, and it's catching up with them. We're in a situation right now, where the entire world is looking at Fairfax County and seeing how they did not place academics at the top of their priority list. And this school board is remaining silent and not addressing it once again.”...“They have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin told 7News in a sit-down interview outside of his State Capitol Office in Richmond.
“The reality is that we have a superintendent in Fairfax schools who has explicitly stated that her top objective is equal outcomes for all students, regardless of the price,” Youngkin said in his interview with 7News. “Now we know the price includes paying $450,000 to a liberal consultant to come in and teach the administrators in Fairfax County how to do this. What it appears happened is that principals in schools decided that they were going to systematically withhold accolades and a path to college admission and scholarships from high-performing students.” While the Fairfax County School Board members prepare their reelection campaigns this year, Fairfax County’s relatively new superintendent has been the one receiving most of the public scrutiny.
This story notes that the school board is up for re-election this year, and this reporter points out that the board has remained totally silent on a scandal drawing national attention:
Has anyone heard from the Fairfax County School Board on the national merit controversy? The story has received national attention for about a month now and the Fairfax County School Board hasn’t released a statement - or said anything about the matter - to my knowledge. https://t.co/IzK2ii2wOc— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) January 17, 2023
Minock, incidentally, is the same journalist who blew the lid off of this story in October, sending Virginia Democrats into full retreat:
Virginia Democrats now say they will not introduce a controversial bill that would criminalize parents for not supporting their LGBTQ children. The bill ignited a firestorm in Virginia politics last week. The legislation would put parents at risk of a felony or misdemeanor charge if they do not affirm their child’s sexual orientation and gender identity...[Democrat Elizabeth] Guzman said her bill was a response to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s transgender policies in schools, which have also sparked student protests. The governor, who ran on a platform supporting parental rights, argues that school districts and school administrators shouldn’t keep parents in the dark about their child’s sexual orientation and gender identities. Guzman later claimed her comments were taken out of context and that the legislation was misrepresented. Youngkin and other Republicans were quick to criticize the proposed bill...
This reporter seems to be one of the few who's asking important questions and uncovering highly questionable proposals and actions from governmental officials in Northern Virginia -- while 'prestige' publications like the Washington Post are left playing catch-up, if they're giving these issues the time of day at all. Here's another story he's pursuing:
BREAKING: Fairfax County CA @SteveDescano is using an app with his county government team that automatically deletes messages, for the purpose of avoiding FOIA, according to sources.— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) January 17, 2023
Is he breaking the law? @7NewsDC will have this exclusive story at 6pm.https://t.co/glk6oVbyIO
Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano is using an app called Signal which deletes text messages like Snapchat, 7News confirmed. Descano is using the Signal app to avoid written communication from being obtained by the public and the press as allowed under the Freedom of Information Act, according to sources close to Descano. 7News obtained several screenshots of Descano’s disappearing Signal messages with his county leadership team. The messages show Descano and his team discussing county business and cases on the app...7News asked Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares about this matter in Richmond last week during a wide-ranging interview. “This is the first I've heard of that, obviously, FOIA is a part of the Virginia Code, and it's something that every elected official has to apply,” Miyares told 7News Reporter Nick Minock. “He obviously has an obligation to follow that [Virginia's FOIA statute] as the Commonwealth's Attorney in Fairfax.”
I'll leave you with a reminder that the atrocious sexual assault scandal in nearby Loudoun County was driven by Daily Wire reporting, with firings and indictments being handed down as a result of that journalism and a Youngkin-ordered special investigation. A New York Times columnist had dismissed the entire episode as a "big lie" cooked up by right-wingers, encapsulating the elite center-left consensus (directly mocked by Barack Obama, campaigning for Terry McAuliffe in 2021) about the outrage, which was very much real. Without alternative journalism and a Republican governor, it's very plausible that these violations and lies would never have seen the light of day.