Chris Lange, FISM News
The National School Boards Association president who authored a controversial letter calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate parent protesters for “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” has been appointed to the Biden Administration’s National Assessment Governing Board.
NSBA president Viola Garcia received the appointment from Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona just two days after penning the letter Attorney General Merrick Garland used as the basis for his creation of an FBI task force to investigate parents who voice concerns about their children’s education at local school board meetings. The NSBA last week issued an apology to its members for the letter following intense public backlash that resulted in several state school boards publicly distancing themselves from the association.
In a further development, new emails have surfaced suggesting the letter’s release was coordinated with the Biden administration. The emails, which were obtained by Parents Defending Freedom through a public records request, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon, show that Garcia and NSBA CEO Chip Slaven sent the letter to President Biden on Sept. 29 without prior approval from the organization’s board. The emails show that the Biden administration had asked Garcia and Slaven for examples of threats against school board members.
The emails also reveal the frustration among NSBA members at not being consulted by Garcia or Slaven before the original letter was sent.
“Many of us have been put in a position now of explaining or defending this action of our association as we are asked by members of our community if we consider them domestic terrorists for showing up to our meetings and expressing their opinions,” wrote John W. Halkias, a director from the association’s Central Region, on Oct. 1.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress board to which Garcia was promoted, commonly referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” oversees the selection of school assessment subjects, sets student performance standards, and establishes nationwide report card criteria.
Since the letter was sent, several state school board associations, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri, have withdrawn from the NSBA.