Frisco Independent School District (FISD) Trustee Marvin Lowe is continuing his push for the school board to adopt a comprehensive ban on critical race theory (CRT) and other educational philosophies he believes are derived from it.
Lowe made an appearance on The Mark Davis Show on Tuesday and briefly discussed the practice of “bucket grading” at FISD, noting that he considers it part of the broader CRT perspective.
“They are implementing bucket grading and what … [it] is, is ‘hey, if you get a 94 or a 100, it’s all the same.’ All of these things are being done in the name of equity, all under what I would say is the whole CRT [problem],” Lowe said.
Lowe’s position on CRT recently put him at odds with the majority of FISD’s Board of Trustees in February, when he tried to pass a ban on CRT and CRT-related perspectives to be adopted in district policy at the school board’s last meeting, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
His proposal lost 5-2, but his effort prompted an insinuation from Board President René Archambault that Lowe was attempting to restrict free speech on FISD campuses.
“Our students should be able to express their viewpoints, so when you have a policy that is immediately going after the ability of free speech that concerns me greatly,” said Archambault at the meeting, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Some members of the community also spoke against Lowe’s proposal, including Sherry Solis, who suggested that adopting the expansive rule would unnecessarily increase teachers’ paperwork.
“When I read [the proposal] I’m thinking, ‘does FISD have an issue here?’ Because I really thought that [CRT] boogeyman was gone,” Solis said.
She claimed further, “When we ask what one of the issues is for our educators, the bureaucracy that gets lost in translation is basically what they complain about.”
Ken Tysell, another district resident, claimed, “CRT is not taught in Frisco, period, and this anti-CRT misinformation campaign is designed to cynically broaden the definition of CRT and to leverage that to preemptively censor classroom discussions on other legitimate historical topics.”
The Dallas Express caught up with Lowe on Friday to discuss his ongoing concerns about CRT and related philosophies finding their way into district practices.
He spoke about how the district honored its top scholars and how only some groups of students were categorized by race.
“There’s one [with no race designation], everyone has GPAs 4.0 and higher, and it is dominated by the Asian community. Not one black student and only a few whites,” he said. “Then there’s awards for only black, only Hispanic, and the threshold was [a GPA of] 3.5. What does that say to those kids? Are we saying we expect less of them? What about the Asian kid with a 3.7?”
“All of this they’re doing in the name of equity,” Lowe told The Dallas Express. “It’s just bad for our country. … It’s just divisive.”
He claimed that bucket grading and race-based categorization in honors were related to, if not inspired by, CRT. Lowe stressed that the “real world” does not come with all the accommodations offered by FISD.
“I was with a college professor the day before yesterday, and he was just telling me the kids coming out of Frisco ISD don’t understand that that’s not how life works. They miss an exam and come in, with no excuse, and ask ‘when is the makeup?'” he said.
He further criticized “liberal grading policies” that he says allow for infinite makeup exams and deemphasize merit.
“We need to teach our kids to compete … but the great thing about this country is you don’t need a 4.0 to succeed. This country can make a place for you … to be prosperous,” Lowe said.
The Dallas Express asked Lowe whether he was going to continue to pursue an expansive prohibition on CRT for the district. He replied, “Absolutely.”
However, it appears Lowe does not have many allies on the current board, and a recent controversy regarding allegations made against him for allegedly “harassing” a transgender youth at a statewide education conference has resulted in his name being placed as an agenda action item for a special meeting of FISD’s Board of Trustees on Monday.
The item reads, “Consideration and possible action regarding the evaluation, duties, and discipline of a public officer or employee, including Trustee Lowe.”
Lowe adamantly denies the allegations in question and argues he is being targeted for his beliefs, as discussed in interviews with The Dallas Express.
Good news report. I wasn’t aware of this.