So, I decided to dress up for Halloween this week. Don't judge, but I hadn't worn a costume since I was a kid. My two little one's made me do it, the chronicles of a single parent 06!!!
Overall, it's been a great week since my last post. Shout out to Idaho State University as I was the opening and closing keynote speaker for their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference. I was honored to facilitate the Leading Equity Book Study with Forest Grove Middle School and keynoting St. Joseph's University's Diversity and Inclusion "Building a Better Tomorrow Through Diversity" event.
If you are looking for keynotes or workshops in-person or virtual, take a look at the Leading Equity Center's services, and let's chat! You can also book a FREE 30-minute consultation with me regarding your upcoming events/projects. Let's get to this week's topic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected how our students learn. In the United States, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (i.e., the nation’s report card) reported math scores “were especially devastating, representing the steepest declines ever recorded.” Eighth-grade math scores in almost every state across the country fell. Reading scores were also affected, following a continual nationwide downward shift pre-pandemic, as more than half of state scores fell behind.
Yes, pandemic gaps should be addressed; however, when creating sustainable and equitable results, we must prioritize improving the quality of education overall and addressing previous gaps.
Dr. Adriana Villavicencio, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of California - Irvine, wrote Why schools’ going back to ‘normal’ won’t work for students of color. She states, “Rather than focus only on trying to close pandemic-related gaps, schools could seek to more substantially improve the quality of education they offer, particularly for students of color, if they want to achieve equitable and sustainable results.” I could not agree more.
Students of color are seen through a deficit perspective by their teachers, schools, districts, etc. They are quickly labeled as “challenging” compared to their white counterparts. Rather than schools and districts meeting them where they are to value and see them for who they are --- to truly appreciate what they bring to the classroom.
As a racial equity scholar whose research focuses on the inequities within minoritized communities of students and their families in K-12 education policy and school practice, Dr. Villavicencio has learned four important ways schools can improve.
This work is not easy, it requires intention and effort. In January 2023, I'll be hosting my annual event, which is about Amplifying Student Voices.
We will discuss how we can prioritize our underrepresented students to empower them and equip ourselves with the tools necessary to keep them in the forefront. More details are coming soon!
Content created this week:
Last night, the Art of Advocacy was onas we discussed what it's like being a BIPOC educator in international schools. My guests were Kevin Simpson and Marla Hunter. Here's the replay. We are almost at 500 subscribers, which is half our goal of 1,000 by January 2023. Help us get there by following the channel.
That’s all this week,
Every Friday you can expect a small and informative message from the Leading Equity Center. The Weekend Voice is meant to challenge your thoughts of education today and to provoke you to take action in your schools.