The Cultural Competency Action PlaN 

BACKGROUND

Carroll ISD, in response to racist remarks made online by CISD students, and the pleas of many parents, students, and City Council, created a District Diversity Council (DDC) to create a Cultural Competency Action Plan (CCAP). Hundreds of hours were devoted exclusively to create the CCAP over 18 months. The plan is a 34-page 5 year plan document detailing:

1. Celebration of Culture, Bias Reduction & Awareness

2. Communications & Outreach

3. Teacher/Staff Recruitment

4. Curriculum & Instruction

5. Student-Led Education & Policy 

6. Professional Development

On August 3, 2020 the CISD School Board met and a motion was heard to pass the CCAP into implementation. The motion was denied with several Board Members claiming they did not have adequate time to read or understand the CCAP.  More time was requested to further review the CCAP as was a request to add additional members to the DDC. 

Meanwhile, many misinterpretations of the CCAP have been spoken of throughout the CISD community. This page is designed to correct any misconceptions and to clearly define what the Cultural Competency Action Plan will truly mean for CISD schools. 

*The entire CCAP can be found at the bottom of this page. 

 

CLEARING UP COMMON CCAP MISCONCEPTIONS

 

THE MISCONCEPTION: The CCAP will inhibit free speech by tracking and punishing highly subjective "microagressions."

THE TRUTH: The term microaggression defines racial abuse, such as using derogatory language, actions, or demeaning behavior against members of marginalized groups such as a racial or ethnic minority. Where this term gets misunderstood is microaggressions can be subtle, indirect and maybe unintentional, though harm is done. 

With CCAP, students will be educated on racial and marginalized group abuse as it occurs. This is not hindering free speech. It is allowing for students who are harming others to be educated on the harm they are causing so it can be corrected. Key word being educated, not punished. Tracking these incidents does not follow the student but is used only as a means of metrics to determine if the program is working. 

THE MISCONCEPTION: The CCAP will create a "diversity police" that would deny due process and create a guilty-until-proven-innocent disciplinary system. 

THE TRUTH: There will not be a "diversity police." The CCAP is about education. There is opportunity for students to shine when they demonstrate diversity and inclusion excellence in action steps 1 in 1.1.2. Students will be recognized and rewarded for demonstrating cultural humility and inclusion. Action steps 4 and 5 provide resources, counseling, and equitable grievances process for all students, which ensures CISD schools are safe for all.

THE MISCONCEPTION:  The CCAP will cost millions of taxpayer dollars over the next 10 years, although not approved by the voters. 

THE TRUTH: The estimated costs are clearly outlined in the plan. Year 1 is estimated at a total cost of $425,000, which includes staffing, a director, K-12 audit, curriculum/training/materials and speakers. Years 2-5 are estimated at $250,000 total. Not even close to 1 million dollars, much less millions. Federal grants are also available, which CISD has applied for. (One being for $330,000 which is pending approval.)

THE MISCONCEPTION: The CCAP will mandate "social justice training" as a graduation requirement. 

THE TRUTH: No mandate is in place. There is an action step that recommends diversity and inclusion training for students in all grades. (This is common in many schools, including high-tier schools, universities and workplaces.) This is for education purposes only and is not mandated nor is it a requirement for graduation, however will provide CISD students with knowledge that will serve them after they graduate. 

THE MISCONCEPTION:  The CCAP will prioritize affirmative action hiring instead of hiring the most qualified teachers and administrators based on merit. 

THE TRUTH: The CCAP includes diversity facts for Southlake and recognizes ethnic student population growth and also shows that administration and teaching staff lacks ethnic population hiring growth. There is NO mention of affirmative action hiring in the CCAP.

THE MISCONCEPTION: The CCAP will promote "culturally competent viewpoints"over all others and require students and teachers to take a "cultural competence test" that can be used for shaming and discipline. 

THE TRUTH: Teachers and campus leaders will be trained, as stated in action steps 4 in 1.2.1. There will not be any testing or shaming or disciplinary action taken regarding the training. (This type of diversity and inclusion training is required in all Fortune 500 companies and is commonplace in Corporate America. Teachers will be given the same opportunity as other professionals.)

THE MISCONCEPTION: The CCAP will survey the beliefs of students and teachers to reshape their views on religion, politics, and identity to "grow culturally competent leaders." 

THE TRUTH: The CCAP was created to promote inclusion, which is the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for everyone. Religion, political views, or belief shaping is not the role of CISD or the CCAP. Maintaining excellence in education is paramount to CISD and the CCAP. 

THE MISCONCEPTION: The CCAP will change our award-winning curriculum through "social justice audits.:

THE TRUTH: Cultural competence audits provide awareness and will not compete with the award-winning curriculum CISD students receive. These are independent topics that an established and thriving school system, such as CISD, can easily manage. Specific staffing and external auditing is built in to the CCAP budget to ensure data collecting is seamless. 

THE MISCONCEPTION:  The CCAP will distract our teachers from teaching core subject matter to instead advance a social justice agenda. 

THE TRUTH: Teaching cultural literacy will not impede teachers from delivering teaching excellence at CISD. Rather, it will allow expanded learning to happen through equity and inclusion, creating an equitable learning environment for all students. The CCAP is not a distraction but an enhancement. Many schools, including schools in Texas, such as Richardson ISD, are moving forward with cultural competence plans. 

THE TRUTH BEHIND CCAP:

The CCAP is designed to educate, not harm, CISD students, teachers and administration. This is not about shaming or singling anyone out. It is about recognizing the gaps in cultural differences and inclusion and building a bridge to equity. This is not a political agenda. This is a solution based reaction to apparent racism that lives in CISD.

 

We can build a bridge to a brighter future where all students feel safe, seen, and heard, and all are given an equal opportunity to learn and receive the outstanding education CISD is known for. All students should expect excellence at CISD. The CCAP is the tool our district needs to ensure that all students can. 

Have questions or have you heard a CCAP misconception you would like to have cleared up? Please contact DATS us to get your questions answered.  

Complete Cultural Competency Action Plan.