As teachers across the nation return to the classroom (both online and in-person), we’d like to share these resources that promote racial equality in education, compiled by one of our educators. From learning acceleration to academic recovery with equality in mind, these websites offer guidance to help teachers support all students.
Back to School in the “New” Normal: Recommitting to Racial Equality in Education
This summer, a debate was sparked over critical race theory, and many school districts found themselves roiled into this sensationalized controversy. The debate is being waged in state legislatures and school board meetings to stop teachers from teaching this topic. Critical race theory, a topic typically taught in law school, is far too advanced to even be taught in K through 12, so why are lawmakers so intent on banning it? Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia, and a pioneering scholar in the field of Critical Race Theory, described critical race theory perfectly on the podcast Undistracted:
- Critical Race Theory really is a way of analyzing, looking at law’s role in creating both race and racism. It was a product of a second generation of civil rights activists and students and professors who came into the academy, came into law schools right at the moment when the forward momentum from the civil rights movement was starting to recede... So our goal was to understand the ways that law makes racial discrimination appear to be inevitable. That makes racial disparities appear to just be there rather than the product of policies, of practices, of structures that are all legally permissible and in some ways actually insulated by law.
While teachers in primary and secondary schools aren’t teaching critical race theory, it’s important that they be able to teach about the structural inequalities that exist in our educational system and beyond, as this is an imperative cornerstone of public education. As we return to in-person classes in the “new” normal of the pandemic, here are some great resources to renew the commitment to racial equality and address some of these topics:
- Learning Acceleration - New research shows that giving students targeted support to take on grade-level work right away — a strategy called “learning acceleration” — is crucial to helping them catch up. Yet students of color are less likely to experience this approach than white students at the same academic level. The Learning Acceleration Guide gives schools and teachers step-by-step strategies to identify what unfinished learning needs to be addressed, as well as when and how.
- Facing History and Ourselves - This site uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Facing History’s resources address racism, antisemitism, and prejudice at pivotal moments in history, helping students connect choices made in the past to those they will confront in their own lives.
- WeTeachNYC – This site offers pre-k through 12th grade instructional resources that integrate academic and social-emotional learning, while establishing a new path to academic recovery and reimagining.
We hope these resources help you promote equality in your classroom. Don’t forget to bookmark them!
If you want to make a difference in the lives of children, contact us today to discover how our experienced team of professionals at Cross Country Education can find the ideal teaching job for you!