As I visited schools in our region and listened to educators plan instruction for student learning, I heard many conversations about equity. Educators are studying the achievement gap (subgroups of students underperforming as compared to the whole student body) and the opportunity gap (not all students having the same access to the attitudes, experiences and supports). Educators are seeking to find what supports and experiences are necessary to best meet the unique needs of groups and/or individual students. Through that work we build awareness about privilege and bias. As I delved more deeply into this work I joined groups and read widely to learn more about how privilege and inherent bias impacts our view of the world and our beliefs about people not like us. For example gaps in student learning impact our EL Learners, students of color and students living in poverty.
Last June, I joined a workshop series at the NWESD 189 called Leading for Equity. During this two-day workshop our friends at Puget Sound ESD (Eileen Yoshina, Heather Kawamoto and Nikum Pon) provided a powerful, experiential seminar addressing race, white privilege, and power. Weexplored tools, resources and practices to identify our core equity dilemmaand deepen racial equity conversations. Participants left feeling more aware and informed when addressing equity for students in our region and more committed to increase learning for all students in our communities.
Educators around the region are excited to continue this journey of exploring and addressing issues of equity for our students. I believe this is true, because all students have the capacity to learn and educators are working hard to support all of our students and this awareness offers a path to learn and invite others to learn with us. I have made a promise to myself to learn more and pay attention to how I interact with people in the world. There are ways to to be active in local communities such as supporting racial equity awareness in the area, attending workshops the NWESD is offering, reading articles and books on the subject.
Visit the links below for a taste of the discussion around privilege and equity: