DougCo superintendent requests more time to interpret equity policy

Suzie Glassman
Photo by the Douglas County School District

By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver

(Castle Rock, CO) DougCo superintendent Erin Kane plans to ask the school board for more time to recommend changes to the district's equity policy when they meet again in August. Kane told the Equity Advisory Council (EAC) that she would ask the board for an extension so she could gather additional feedback from the community.

The school board directed Kane to review the policy and recommend changes consistent with the district's mission no later than September 1.

Kane told the EAC she wants to know what parents, students, and the community are afraid will or won't happen under the policy and what they would like to see.

She hopes to quell fears on both sides of the equity discussion by providing a definitive guide to the policy's enforcement. She also believes most of the things people are worried about center around something no one intends to do.

Kane's role in the equity policy

"My job is to interpret the policy in much the same that the executive branch of the government interprets laws set forth by Congress," said Kane in an interview. "The board determines policy, and my job is to carry that policy out."

Kane told the EAC she believes many of the actions the community fears are likely unfounded. Under her leadership, programs like gifted and talented or the naming of a valedictorian aren't up for debate.

While Kane didn't mention fears that the current equity policy somehow encourages district teachers to include critical race theory instruction in their curriculum, she said the district is not changing how it teaches history.

Instead, the Colorado Department of Education determines curriculum based on its academic standards.

Equity Advisory Council Feedback

The EAC, which includes school and School District leadership, teachers, students, parents, and community members, expressed concerns over how much time Kane needs to gather this feedback and if she'll disregard feedback given when they created the policy.

Kane said in an interview that the council's work is vital, and there are no plans to throw out the policy altogether.

The EAC asked Kane to seek out and speak with under-represented groups who've lost trust in the district and to engage with parents and students on their terms. They also want more clarification on the long-term goal with any revisions she suggests.

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