We constantly throughout the term “high expectations” here at Re-Imagine education… “The lifeblood of any good classroom, high expectations are essential” (posted 6/21); “Educators and researchers ... have devoted their lives to defining what works - like holding high expectations for all students” (posted 9/26); “High expectations and high support are the ingredients necessary to build the skills and humanity necessary to combat the systemic violence lodged in America’s core” (Posted 2/7); But, what do high expectations actually look like? To answer this, we find it is helpful to think about expectations in different, though overlapping, buckets: Academic and Cultural…Read more
Consider the following scenario: Kathy manages a team of ten, she is white, nine of her teammates are white and one is black. Several teammates, including her black colleague, are often late to work. She addresses the attendance issue with her white colleagues but never addresses it with her black colleague despite thinking she should. Now, let's consider Mr. Joe a white male English teacher at a diverse high school. As a high school teacher he frequently redirects students in class when they are off task. Reflecting on his practice, he admits that he is quicker to redirect his white students when they are off task allowing his students of color to remain unengaged in class learning.
What do both of these scenarios have in common besides the soft bigotry of low expectations… Privilege…
Understanding the definition of Equity in Schools (part 1), and recognizing the effects of counterproductive misunderstandings of equity (part 2) is useful, but merely understanding and recognizing equity or inequity does not necessarily lead to equity. Action leads to equity. Understanding is the parking lot; building one's social justice and racial equity lens the entrance ticket; using that lens to ask the right questions and take meaningful actions is the game. Questions like…Read more
In part one of this series we discussed common misconceptions that lead to misuses of the term equity. It’s not that these misconceptions are malicious, or even inherently inequitable; however they can, and often times do, distract from the ultimate goal of creating an equitable world. In this piece we examine the potential harm that comes from misunderstanding equity…Read more
In terms of the dictionary, equity covers everything from, “The quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality” (Dictionary.com) to “Justice according to natural law or right” (Merriam-Webster). In the world of education, when we talk about equity, we are generally referring to racial equity, but what does that mean? It has taken me years to grasp this term. coming into education I thought I was woke because I clearly knew equity did not mean equality, but beyond that I had no idea how actually clueless I was about the term and what it meant for my actions. Below are some iterations of understanding that I went through and have heard others go through - that do NOT equal equity - understandings that may be important but can often derail us from the truth and ultimately derail us from truly equitable outcomes…Read more
The end of the school year naturally leads to reflection and evaluation. Teachers and students alike are asking themselves, How did the year go? The answer to that question depends on what questions are asked prior. For example, were the students safe in my school and classroom? Do students understand the world better? Did students deepen their knowledge of self? Did students become better readers, problem solvers, and thinkers?
All of these questions matter. ALL of the questions matter.Read more
It’s May, flowers are budding, the sun pours in classroom windows and teachers everywhere join students in counting down the days until school’s out for the summer…Read more
Across America there are successful schools, and there are failing schools. There are successful private schools, district schools, charter schools; successful schools in poor rural and urban landscapes, and successful schools in wealthy suburb and urban landscapes. Conversely, there are failing private, district and charter schools in varying landscapes across the country (albeit disproportionately more so in areas with lower socioeconomic levels and neighborhoods of color).Read more