K-12: In Richmond's Public Schools, a Rabid BLM Leftist at the Helm
After almost three years at the helm of Richmond's public schools Superintendent Jason Kamras, a one-time education adviser to Barack Obama and devotee of Marxist professor Cornel West, has emerged as something much worse than an incompetent liberal do-gooder lording his Princeton and Harvard degrees over unsuspecting inner city black kids.
Kamras is a full-blown, far-left extremist spreading the poisonous teachings of Black Lives Matter and promoting Democrat policies which have led to some of the lowest proficiency test scores in the state.
Twenty-two out of 44 schools in his district are not fully accredited, one out of four students drop out before graduating high school and school buildings are badly in need of renovation or demolition, whichever comes first.
So, who and what does Kamras blame for the dismal conditions of city schools? Racism (naturally), to be followed by, wealthy suburban people, inequity, lack of funding, and in one laughable case, President Trump's adversarial relationship with China.
The China excuse came about in June from an apparent shortage of laptops for students attending Richmond, Virginia's COVID-19 virtual public schools. In an August email to faculty and staff, Superintendent Kamras essentially blamed tensions with China created by President Trump as the cause of the problem. The Virginia Star reported that Mike Dickinson, a candidate for Richmond’s 1st Council District, was sent the email and others from an RPS employee.
According to Kamras, he had anticipated the need for 10,000 additional laptops in June but, he wrote,
"the global supply chain is extremely tight right now and our country’s current trade tensions with China have created all sorts of delays. To learn more about this, I encourage you to read this article from The Washington Post and this one from the Wall Street Journal.”
Both links put the onus for the supply chain interruptions on President Trump and his trade dealings with China.
In another email, Kamras weighs in on the shooting of Breonna Taylor:
...the pain coursing through our community yet again in the wake of the decision yesterday by a Kentucky grand jury not to charge any of the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor with homicide or manslaughter. Outcomes like this only tear at the unhealed wounds borne by so many within the RPS[Richmond Public Schools] family. Please check on your colleagues, friends, and loved ones this evening. Please recognize that they may need extra time and space to process this latest
Then, in August, Kamras urged his employees to vote for anyone promoting gun control policies. The superintendent sent out an RPS update pleading with his employees “to support candidates this November who will enact common sense gun control legislation."
Recently, according to local news interviews, Kamras indirectly condoned the violent removal of statues, as well as those the mayor ordered taken down. The superintendent has now required all high school students to take a course entitled, Real Richmond History,
"so that kids understand, why did we get here? and 'why were those monuments there for so long?"
Jason Kamras makes $250,000 a year pushing the Democrat Party's divisive radicalism and anti-white hatred in the city's failing public schools. That's nearly $100,000 more than the average salary of superintendents nationwide. He's had almost three years to make bank off of RPS students who can't read, write or compute anywhere near their grade levels.
City residents are paying this white, privileged, elitist male to be a "politcal superintendent." Kamras couldn't care less. In a July 2020 interview he actually bragged about putting politics before the three R's. Asked about his role in the education of a 90% black student population, and specifically in their right to protest and march in the wake of incidents like the death of George Floyd, Kamras replied:
Well, I went out there and was protesting with them. I have been told I am a political superintendent. Now, sometimes that's a compliment and sometimes it's not. Depends on who you're talking to. I share that because I think part of the job is changing the structure in which we're working, right?
If being a superintendent is just managing the day-to-day of school and not changing the society in which school exists, I don't want the job.
As much as I love that first part, I think the second part is indispensable because, look, if all I do is get kids to read and do math, well, I failed.(my italics) I think it's my responsibility to help them be prepared to make a better world. If I'm not doing that myself, what am I doing?
In another example, Kamras claimed "institutional racism" counts for the dilapidated school buildings. It's all about race, he wrote in an Op-ed for the Richmond Times Dispatch. He claims If only his kids were white, the commonwealth would find a way to fix the problem.. Kamras has suggested suburban schools in wealthy districts have clean bathrooms because of institutional racism. The fact that racially diverse Catholic schools in Richmond, and there are several, spend much less per child than public schools and still manage to keep their toilets scrubbed doesn't seem to occur to Mr. Kamras. Nor does the fact that Democrat mayors have been hiring progressive superintendents for the last 30 years and none of them have taken responsibility for leaving behind some of the lowest math and reading proficiency rates in the state.
Kamras has committed to "serving" Richmond's inner city black students for at least five years. That's $1,250,000 he will haul in if he stays the entire time. Who says there isn't a great rate of return for keeping blacks in miserable hellhole schools at the same time ordering them to march in the streets for the cause?