CNN Spews Disinformation About VA School District’s Maniacal ‘Equity’

News & Politics

In yet another scandal from a Northern Virginia school district dominated by liberals, Fairfax public schools were recently accused of withholding notice of merit scholarship commendations as part of what Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin calls their “maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs.” The response from CNN during Tuesday’s Inside Politics was to suggest there was no evidence of such machinations from the school district, despite the fact it was featured in a strategic planning meeting.

“The Republican Governor accusing education officials in the commonwealth’s largest county of choosing equity over merit,” host John King announced at the top of the segment. He was followed up by national correspondent Athena Jones, who he claimed would “sort the politics and the truth.”

Jones admitted that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s Commendations were a type of “honorable mention” and something a prospective college student would like to have on their applications, but tried to downplay the situation:

Those students were not told about this commendation in a timely manner. This is the sort of thing that it is an honor, it’s something you’d want to include in your early decision college applications, it gives you access to some special scholarships down the line like corporate scholarships, business-sponsored scholarships that are usually smaller in number. But it does mean those students are out of the running of the National Merit Scholarship competition. So, this is a commendation but it’s not like taking money right out of their pockets.

Later in the report, she defended the schools by noting they reached out to the colleges their students were already accepted to and informed them of the commendations. But there was no solution for those students who may have been rejected from schools and the honor was a missing lynchpin.

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Jones openly scoffed at Youngkin, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, and area parents because “they believe these schools failed to notify these students because they didn’t want other students to feel badly that they haven’t received these awards.”

“What’s really unclear here is who’s going around saying we want equal outcomes for everyone. That is something – a line we’ve heard from the governor and AG but it’s unclear where they think that comes from,” she proclaimed.

NewsBusters did the honest research Jones refused to do and found evidence presented by Parents Defending Education, a national parents’ rights organization that is “working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas.”

They obtained an image of a slide [pictured below] from a Fairfax County Public Schools strategic planning meeting that clearly states their goal is, “Equitable access to resources and opportunities that guarantee fair, just, and affirming experiences and produce equal outcomes for every student, without exception.” The emphasis in the quote is from the slide itself, which was titled: “The Equity Imperative: Equitable Access, Equal Outcomes.”

Despite the facts, Jones claimed the outrage was “about politics” and that Youngkin was catering to “culture war issues.”

During the panel discussion following Jones’s slanted report, CNN senior political analyst Nia-Malika Henderson echoed Jones in suggesting Youngkin was just playing politics. “Yeah, I mean he talks about the ‘maniacal focus on equity.’ I think from him there is a maniacal focus on higher office, whether it’s presidential ambitions or whether he wants to run for Senate,” she huffed.

King also suggested Youngkin artificially inflated education as an issue Virginians cared about in 2018. “He got education up to 24 percent,” he misinformed viewers.

CNN’s disinformation about harmful equity in schools was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships Chase and Colonial Penn. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Inside Politics
January 17, 2023
12:30:10 p.m. Eastern

JOHN KING: The Republican Governor accusing education officials in the commonwealth’s largest county of choosing equity over merit.

[Cuts to video]

GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN: They have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs. [Transition] This overarching effort for equal outcomes is hurting Virginia’s children. And it’s hurting even worse the children that they aspire to help.

[Cuts back to live]

KING: CNN’s Athena Jones tracking this for us, live with the latest. Athena help us sort the politics and the truth.

ATHENA JONES: Well, the truth is that there’s now this investigation of Fairfax County schools in northern Virginia. The whole scroll district is being investigated because at least three high schools failed to notify the students who had received the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s Commendations. This is kind of an honorable mention saying that these students are the top 50,000 of those taking these tests, the 1.5 million taking tests to try to win these scholarships.

Those students were not told about this commendation in a timely manner. This is the sort of thing that it is an honor, it’s something you’d want to include in your early decision college applications, it gives you access to some special scholarships down the line like corporate scholarship, business-sponsored scholarships that are usually smaller in number. But it does mean those students are out of the running of the National Merit Scholarship competition. So, this is a commendation but it’s not like taking money right out of their pockets.

But you heard the governor of Virginia talking about this “maniacal focus” on equity. We’ve heard this from the governor and also, of course, from the attorney general who has launched these investigations. This idea these schools were – and some of the parents say that they believe these schools failed to notify these students because they didn’t want other students to feel badly that they haven’t receive these awards.

What’s really unclear here is who’s going around saying we want equal outcomes for everyone. That is something – a line we’ve heard from the governor and AG but it’s unclear where they think that comes from.

And as for the school, they say the number one there is an independent third party investigation going on, at least in Fairfax County. They believe this is a one-time sort of human error and they’ve gone to all of these colleges that where these students received commendations and let them know that they were commended and did receive this honor.

So, it’s a bit about politics here because this is something that Glenn Youngkin ran on, the whole idea of education, these sort of culture war issues.

(…)

12:33:10 p.m. Eastern

KING: It happens at a time – look around the country, and we’ll start with Glen Youngkin, a number of these Republican governors who may have ambitions, say the 2024 presidential race, maybe some other higher office, he’s been quiet for some time, Governor Youngkin. He did campaign a lot in the 2022 midterms around the country. If you look back at his race for governor, most important issue facing Virginia – he made — he raised education, economy, job, 33, he got education up to 24 percent by focusing on Critical Race Theory, saying kids in schools were being taught things he didn’t think they should be taught. The question is, where is he taking this?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Yeah, I mean he talks about the “maniacal focus on equity.” I think from him there is a maniacal focus on higher office, whether it’s presidential ambitions or whether he wants to run for Senate. And that’s what it’s all about. This a continuation of his run for governor; it was all about the so-called woke folks taking over the school system.

Which, again, we’ve seen this from Republicans before, right? It was the gays were going to ruin marriage and now it’s the woks are going to somehow ruin the school system. And listen, it worked for him in that contest.

(…)

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