Thursday, February 04, 2021


Used well, acronyms are a convenient shorthand amongst those who know what they mean.

We use a lot of acronyms in education; I'm sure their use when in the company of those not-in-the-know (say, parents) isn't malintentioned but more likely is done mostly out of a lack of consideration, i.e., not taking into account that those to whom we speak might not understand the acronyms.  I'm equally sure that sometimes acronyms are used because the educator in question doesn't know a better term to use, and perhaps once in awhile is used to overwhelm or barrel over a parent.

But to state that their use is racist?  That's just asininity:

First the San Francisco School Board decided to rename 44 schools because they are named after people with ties to racism or slavery. Now the Arts Department has taken a bold move by changing its name, "VAPA" because they say, "acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture."

Schools have yet to reopen in San Francisco, but their Arts Department has continued to work toward ensuring that all students have access to quality arts education.

The director of that department said, "We are prioritizing antiracist arts instruction in our work." So they got rid of the acronym "VAPA," which is short for visual and performing arts.

From now on, they'll simply be called SFUSD Arts Department.

SFUSD Arts Department.  Let that sink in.  And then wonder what's in the water in the City By The Bay.


ObieJuan said...


Ellen K said...

Part of the reason I dropped my membership to National Art Education Association was the egregious pandering to ideas like this. Among things I've read just since retiring in 2019 I have seen the following:
-Spelling and grammar are racist.
-European literature is racist.
-Expectations of punctuality-in attendance and delivery of assignments-is racist.
-Since many students of color struggle in math, math is racist and must be diluted in rigor.
-Requiring a second language for grad school admission is racist, but being bilingual is a plus.
-Making good grades is not an automatic admission to a top tier school if you are Asian.
-Working to support your family over school and community activities is not a plus for college admissions UNLESS you qualify as Hispanic.
-Two male students with identical school activities, grades and test scores will be offered very different school packages based on their last names.

There are more, but it's just more gaming the system to insure outcomes rather than allowing merit and effort to create opportunities.