Following a months-long search, Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD), which serves 76,000 students, is facing backlash from parents after naming a lone finalist superintendent candidate who supports equity policies and critical race theory.

Last week, FWISD’s school board announced Dr. Angélica Ramsey, currently the superintendent at Midland ISD, as the district’s lone finalist superintendent candidate. Previously, Ramsey was the superintendent of a California school district near Los Angeles. In the announcement, Ramsey referred to herself as an “inclusive and deliberative CEO.”

Earlier this year, FWISD’s school board voted 7-0 to move up former superintendent Kent Scribner’s last day by two years. Instead of finishing out his contract in August 2024, Scribner’s final day at the district was last week, although he will continue working as a district advisor until February 28, 2023.

Notably, Scribner will still receive close to 75 percent of his remaining benefits, including an annual salary of $330,000.

The former superintendent often downplayed parents’ concerns about critical race theory and sexually explicit books in their children’s schools. In a statement released after the school board’s vote, Scribner highlighted what he believes to be significant accomplishments from his tenure, including incorporating racial equity policies into FWISD schools.

“I am most proud of our work in the area of racial equity,” said Scribner. “Through the creation of our Division of Equity and Excellence, we have taken actionable steps to address gaps in academic achievement and dismantle systems that have historically reinforced those disparities.”

Following the school board’s selection of Ramsey as the district’s new superintendent, some parents are worried her views on critical race theory and equity mirror Scribner’s.

Concerned citizens have highlighted Ramsey’s 2013 doctoral dissertation on “the experiences of Latina principals in both established and burgeoning Latina/o communities in raising Latina/o achievement.” Ramsey also promoted her research as “championing the causes of equity and student success for all with a social justice agenda.”

Additionally, on the “Talk Sup” podcast in 2016, Ramsey voiced support for equity policies and defined the term as “making sure, again, that every child has what they need.”

After a mandatory 21-day waiting period, FWISD’s school board will hold a final vote to select Ramsey during their September meeting. Although Board President Tobi Jackson supported Ramsey’s appointment, some parents are skeptical that she represents an improvement from Scribner.

In a social media post responding to Ramsey’s nomination, Fort Worth resident Lexi Lovett voiced her doubt that the new superintendent will exceed Scribner’s record.

“Yikes. The FWISD school board is obviously blind,” said Lovett. “I don’t know what this board sees in Angelica Ramsey, but I have a hard time believing they don’t see the exact same thing we have had under Scribner. A mediocre and lazy educator with a disappointing record. A mediocre future for this district. And failure for current and future students of FWISD.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.