MCPS racial audit source of hope


Graphic by Julianne Cruz

While the results of the MCPS racial audit may not show in the near future, it is an important step forward in embracing diversity.

Balmore Ruiz Guardado, Opinions Writer

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has always been known to have the intent of ensuring diversity, equity and fairness within its school district so that no student or staff is left out based on their ethnicity or race. Due to some racist incidents in the county, MCPS was persuaded into starting an anti-racist audit which began in late 2020. This audit, which concluded its duration of two years in July, aimed to address racial disparities throughout MCPS to ensure that all people receive the same opportunities and have equal chances of educational and personal success.

MCPS appealed to the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting social justice in education and schools in charge of progressing the anti-racist audit throughout its duration. MAEC divided the audit into six different sections based upon various methods of increasing equity in MCPS. Based on the findings of the audit, MCPS will announce its plans of action in March 2023. Prior to releasing the full plans, MCPS will present a rough plan to the community for feedback, giving minority groups an opportunity to voice their opinions.

This is great news to many students at RM and throughout the entire county, symbolizing a fight for equality and representation by MCPS. The desire to make sure that students feel welcome and safe in MCPS institutions is one of the reasons many students and parents appreciate the county, despite lingering racial bias and discrimination that makes it difficult for the full effects of the audit and other anti-racist measures to be felt. 

It is important to acknowledge that not all discrimination has been extinguished and that racism still circulates in schools across the county. Cruel ethnicity-related comments and verbal discrimination are still experienced on school grounds. Junior Anthony Leung said, “As an Asian-American, I have gotten racist comments from the COVID-19 virus, but besides that I don’t actually get made fun of often. It was only kind of recently, like last year.” This is an excellent demonstration of the success of MCPS’ efforts to minimize discrimination and should be applauded and the lingering racism. That said, MCPS has already taken admirable action to resolve systemic discrimination.

Many students are optimistic about the outcomes that will be portrayed when these plans are implemented and come into effect, despite the likelihood that they will not be felt quickly. Most students recognize that it is a difficult process that takes time and effort, but are thankful that MCPS is putting in the work to create meaningful change. Junior Bayardo Jimenez said, “I feel like there definitely will be a positive outcome, maybe not in the near future, maybe in a couple of years…. maybe in a couple of months…it would definitely take time.” 

Many staff members also find themselves hoping that the new plans created by MCPS will bring a change in equity for the school system. Social Emotional Special Education Services (SESES) Paraeducator Mrs. Rosa Sombarriba said, “…if they investigate everything and they get their results, facts, you know and they think that they really have messed up…and see that there was some discrepancy or unfairness, I have faith that they probably will make a difference, probably that they will change a little bit for the better.” This positive outlook emphasizes the hopeful future of anti-racism activism in Montgomery County. 

With the continued fight in preserving equity in schools across the county. The community still has some way to go in washing away the presence of discrimination within the academic field. It is important for the community to unite in creating change without it, little progress would be made. Fortunately, with the audit results, MCPS will take proper action in dealing with the racial disparities in the county and ensure that no one is excluded because of their identity.