A Franklin County educator has been named to a new advisory committee charged with making recommendations on culturally relevant and inclusive education practices in Virginia’s public schools.
Brenda Muse, director of curriculum and instruction for Franklin County Public Schools, is one of 38 educators appointed to serve on the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee, which was established under House Bill 916, sponsored by Del. Mark D. Sickles, and Senate Bill 853, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Boysko during the 2020 General Assembly session.
The legislation directed the Virginia Department of Education to select the committee’s members, and tasked the advisory panel with reporting its recommendations to Gov. Ralph Northam, the Board of Education and the chairs of the House Committee on Education and Senate Committee on Education and Health by July 1.
“Inclusive and culturally relevant learning environments are vital to creating equitable pathways to success for all Virginians,” Northam said. “The work of this committee will advance our ongoing efforts to tell the complete and accurate story of Virginia’s complex past, improve our history standards, and give educators opportunities to engage in important conversations and lessons with their students.”
The committee, which held its first meeting Wednesday, is led by three co-chairs, including Boysko, Arlington County Superintendent and Board of Education Member Francisco Durán and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education Dean Andrew Daire.
The committee is tasked with developing:
Recommendations to VDOE for consideration by the Board of Education during the 2021-22 review of the history and social science standards of learning
Recommendations for the development of Board of Education guidelines for local school division staff, including teachers and school counselors, on age-appropriate anti-bias education for students
Recommendations on professional development for school personnel related to culturally relevant and inclusive education practices, including, but not be limited to, considerations for policies and regulations governing teacher preparation programs and policies and regulations governing teacher licensure and professional development requirements for licensure renewal.
“The instructional, policy and equity staff of the department and I look forward to supporting the committee during the next six months,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “I am grateful to all of the educators and community leaders who graciously agreed to make this substantial commitment of their time and expertise to helping the commonwealth develop standards, practices, policies, and school cultures that support all learners.”