2022 VEA Summit on Racial & Social Justice: Honesty in Education
February 18, 2022—February 19, 2022
Virginia Education Association continues to demand racial and social justice in Virginia’s schools. In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly passed HB1904 which requires teacher, principal, and division superintendent evaluations to include an evaluation of cultural competency. The bill requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license from the Board of Education (i) to complete instruction or training in cultural competency and (ii) with an endorsement in history and social sciences to complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Board. The bill also requires each school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and any other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board to complete cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board, at least every two years.
While VEA is pleased with this legislation and recognizes the strides that have been made, we realize that there is much more work to be done. The 2022 convening VEA Summit on Racial and Social Justice: Honesty in Education will highlight the urgency of understanding why “Honesty in Education” is vital and make recommendations for policy changes to advocate for the protection of teachers as they teach whole and honest history. It is also important for us to be honest about the barriers teachers of color face to remaining in education or joining the field.
No matter our color, background, or zip code, we want our children to have an education that imparts honesty about who we are, integrity in how we treat others, and courage to do what’s right. Good teachers know we can’t just avoid or lie our way through our challenges; we must find age-appropriate ways to tell hard truths about our country’s past and present so we can prepare out students to create a better future.