Achievement Gaps and Racial Disparities in Schools

Hi Friends,
Happy 4th of July! I hope you’re all finding ways to celebrate our country in ways that affirm our values and push us to help our country be even better.
There were some recent stories in the Washington Post about achievement gaps and racial disparities in schools:
- Debbie Truong wrote about Fairfax County’s recent report that racial disparities persist and highlights some actions taken to address them
- Truong also wrote about students pushing for change after mold was found in Alexandria schools
- Mikhail Zinshteyn wrote about the University of Minnesota at Rochester and its model of inclusion, which is producing achievement and graduation rates equally across racial groups. While it focuses on higher education, I imagine that the lessons here could be applied to education more broadly.
Related to this and the significant amount of turnover at APS, many groups are scrambling to have an influence on those leadership decisions. If you’re connected to any of those efforts, please work to ensure that underrepresented groups are being uplifted and amplified. The opportunity for a significant culture shift is huge, and we should each be working to advocate for a leader at APS who will embrace change and enact policies reflective of social justice priorities. The NAACP Arlington chapter is recruiting for its Education Committee (Yes, anyone can be a member! Let me know if you’re interested.) and I’m sure there are other opportunities to be involved in a way that listens, amplifies, and follows people of color and other disadvantaged groups.
There are so many stories about how the Administration’s immigration policies are spreading fear and trauma, even among American citizens. Policies like this don’t exist in a vacuum — they have ripple effects far beyond the initial impact. Teaching Tolerance shared resources for teachers to advocate for undocumented youth. And while the Supreme Court ruled in a favorable way on the census for now, the New York Times shared the impact the issue has already had on immigrant/undocumented people.
Here’s Anne Branigin’s take on recent Supreme Court decisions at The Root.
If you’re looking for an action right after the 4th, there’s an Alt-Right march planned on July 6 and a counterprotest has been organized.
SURJ-DC shared information about UNITE HERE, which is currently supporting national airline food workers in their “One Job Should Be Enough” campaign. There’s an Informational Picket Line planned for Tuesday, July 23 at 5 pm at Reagan National Airport.
Vox had a great article by Ana Valens about what allyship truly looks like for the LGBTQ community, which has great parallels for anti-racism allyship.
Keep going.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

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