As your faithful art teacher from Spring Tree Elementary School, I am grateful for being newly appointed as the committee chair for instituting the Racial Educational Equity Initiative for Spring Tree School District. In order to make sure that all students meet or exceed academic standards, Spring Tree School District believes that all students should have equal opportunities for the support they need in order to achieve their highest potential. The Racial Educational Equity Initiative’s goal will be to close the achievement gap and overcome institutional racism. The three-year initiative will begin the school year 2016-2017. The committee will meet every month and is comprised of minority students, minority faculty, community members, school board members and the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Richard Atlas.
The committee has decided on the following goals in order to achieve racial equity for all students.
- Throughout the next three years, an “equity pedagogy” will be developed for the elementary, middle, and high school. Curriculum advisors will review the current curriculum and implement opportunities for “social justice teaching.”
- Minority students will be encouraged to enroll in AP and honor level classes. Multiple pathways for success will be explored for all minority students in order to encourage higher-level academic achievement.
- The Spring Tree School District will strive to hire more teachers and administration that represent the vast diversity within our student body. Over the next three years, the school district will recruit, employ, support and retain diverse educators in an attempt to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities by building a diverse faculty (PPS Equity Policy, 2006).
- Workshop opportunities will be offered to faculty and students to increase awareness of racism and to empower underrepresented students and families of color.
With great enthusiasm, I look forward to changing our expectations of minority student achievement for all students, regardless of race, gender or creed. Spring Tree School District is an exceptional district and my hope is that with the Racial Educational Equity Initiative, we can eliminate racial predictability by fostering a barrier-free environment for equal education for all.
Portland Public Schools. (2006). PPS Racial Educational Equity Policy. Retrieved from http://www.pps.k12.or.us/equity-initiative/8128.htm
Sweet Clip Art. (n.d.). Diverse People Raising Hands. Retrieved from http://sweetclipart.com/diverse-people-raising-hands-968