Closing Out 2019, Plenty of Work Left to Do

Hi Friends!
I hope you’re finding moments of peace during this hectic holiday season.
Related to APS Activity:- There is another version of the APS survey on school moves available, open until December 18.
- Arlington Analytics has a map building tool you can use to play around with school boundaries. It has been updated to include the 2020 Boundary Planning Process Data.
- Maura McMahon and Abby Raphael have been writing Ed Talk pieces in ArlNow:
— November 1 “Equity in Arlington Education”
— November 15 “Giving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion a Chance”
— December 13 “Elementary School Moves/Boundaries” — this one has a similar message to the feedback I sent to APS about its proposed equity policy.
At the December 5 APS School Board Meeting, two members of the Arlington NAACP Education Committee spoke during the public comment period about the lack of representation in the hiring process of the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO), which is wrapping up this month. You can view their comments in the recording: Sherrice Kerns is at 56:30 and Symone Walker is at 1:01:00. It is the practice at School Board meetings for the SB members not to respond to comments made by the public during their meetings. However, one SB member decided to abandon that practice and admonish the speakers. You can see it at 1:08:30. The story was covered by Scott McCaffrey at Sun Gazette Newspapers. Next steps: better representation and inclusion during the Superintendent hiring process. And community members are closely watching who is hired as the CDEIO and how that person is supported in bringing about the culture change that is needed.
Resources:- Theresa Vargas wrote about two brothers who were the victims of gun violence and the public comments made on her first story.
- I’m including this not to endorse any candidate, but because I really appreciated the focus on empathy in Colbert I. King’s oped.
- The Inclusive Schools Network shared information about Lisa Lightner who writes the blog “A Day In Our Shoes” about being an IEP advocate. She also put together a list of 25 inclusion books for kids.
- Livia Gershon writes about “The ‘Parenting Tax’ of School Choice.
- There’s an amazing film called “Color of Fear” that was put together from a dialogue about race relations among men of different racial backgrounds, facilitated by the director, Lee Mun Wah, released in 1994. It’s a very powerful film.
- Eric Higgins writes about “The Dangerous Narrative That Lurks Under the ‘Achievement Gap’.”
- The Education Week Research Center released a report about “How Teachers Talk About Educational Disparities” with lots of data and the meanings associated with those language choices.
- Thomas Downey writes about why the US House of Representatives has 435 members and why it should be expanded. Thanks to a group member for sharing this with us!
- Kevin Carey writes about education reform related to the institution of having school districts that are funded by property taxes. Thanks to a group member for sharing this with us!
- Jon Henley writes about how “Homelessness is not inevitable and can be solved — these cities show us how.”
- Housing Arlington released its key takeaways from the community conversations about housing.
- Hamed Aleaziz at Buzzfeed wrote an article about an ICE whistleblower’s report about the lack of or negligent medical care in ICE detention facilities. Warning, contains graphic descriptions.
- Ibram X. Kendi is releasing a children’s book called Antiracist Baby in June 2020. It’s available for preorder now.
- Peter Jamison writes about a hate crime hoax at a church in Indiana and the complex results.
Actions and Events:- Renae Merle wrote about the proposed redlining law overhaul (Community Reinvestment Act of 1977). Public comment is being accepted for 60 days after it is posted on the Federal Register. The latest one isn’t posted yet, but if you search for the name of the law, you can see changes going back many years related to it.
- EmbraceRace is hosting a webinar on “From ‘Best’ to ‘Worst’ Practices in Family Engagement for Educational Justice” on December 17. You can register here.
Racial Equity and Inclusion Action Network meeting on December 19 (hosted by OAR).
- Arlington Public Library is hosting many book clubs, several of them about topics relevant to this group.
- White Awake is sponsoring an online course called “Before We Were White” beginning January 26. You can find out more and register here.
Thank you for your continued engagement with this work. I will be on vacation next week. You’ll hear from me again in the New Year! Well wishes to everyone!
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

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