Equity has been a recurring theme for educators across the country responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Equity was front and center as leaders sought to overcome the inequitable barriers to distance learning. Equity called for educators to think of novel, but necessary ways to engage families in academics. And equity is certainly a key consideration for planning for a new school year that recognizes all the ways school closures have disparately impacted some student groups academically more than others.
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But with racial tensions flaring nationally because of the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, it has become more and more apparent that the fight to narrow racial gaps in academic achievement are inseparable from the broader cause of achieving racial justice in our schools. Exemplifying this connection, a Minneapolis Public Schools board member announced his proposal to sever the district’s ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. Yesterday, school board member Josh Pauley, citing the department’s “blatant disregard for black lives,” announced his proposal to end the relationship that pays the police department more than a million dollars annually to place 14 officers in their schools. Click here to read more….