I received this press release today (I shortened the message):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EQUITY AND RACE WORK IN THE
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS MUST CONTINUE
Stunned by Superintendents’ Elimination of the Department of Equity, Race and Learning Support --Teachers, Community Groups, Families Coming Together to Formulate a Collective Response and Strategize About How to Carry On With This Crucial Work
Closing the Achievement Gap –the Moral Imperative of Our Time
In response to the new school superintendent, Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson’s abrupt elimination of the Department of Equity, Race and Learning Support, teachers from across the district are coming together with families, and community groups, on Wednesday, May 21st at Alternative School #1 (AS#1) at Pinehurst (11530 12th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125), 5:00-7:00pm. The purpose of this meeting is two-fold:
1. To honor and celebrate the difficult yet positive work around equity and race that the schools are engaged in, including the efforts of Caprice Hollins, Director of the now defunct Department of Equity, Race and Learning Support. Caprice Hollins and her staff have skillfully, courageously and compassionately encouraged and lead teachers and administrators to critically examine and improve their practice to enhance learning outcomes for all students, and
2. To assess what it means for the schools and the students to be losing this vital source of District leadership and support around racial justice and to bring people together to plan for supporting each other to continue this work.
The Department has provided support through professional development, resources, technical assistance, and a district-wide network of equity teams, in addition to lending credibility and moral support for what can be controversial and emotional work. Leslie Morishita, parent active in the school’s Equity Committee expressed her disappointment at the superintendent’s decision. “...After years of work with the District’s strong support, just as we are gaining some momentum and understanding to improve our school for all the kids, it feels like the District is pulling the rug out from under us. This sudden decision in the absence of genuine community process erodes my trust in this administration.”
BTW, What does the "Equity in Education" mean to you?