Equitable Schools Launch Fundraiser
Organized by: Akiea Gross
BLACK TEACHERS MATTER T-SHIRTS FOR PRE-SALE!!!
August 06, 2016
My name is Akiea Gross and I am the Founder and Educator-in-Chief of Equitable Schools, Inc., a new reformative education organization on a mission to close the opportunity gap for students of color by improving the racial and cultural equity of our nation's schools.
I created Equitable Schools as a response to the vast educational inequities I've witnessed children of color face within our public, (including charters), school system. I believe that every child deserves an equitable education, but that traditional school reform efforts miss the mark.
At Equitable Schools, we believe that the most meaningful and transformative way to transform our schools, is to hold schools accountable for the cultural equity of their schooling environments. We seek to ensure that all schools cultivate environments that are reflective of the diverse cultural backgrounds of the students and families that they serve.
It is no secret that our public education system is failing our children, with children of color at the forefront. The research shows that black boys are 4, in some places, 5 times more likely to be suspended than their peers. Children of color are also overrepresented in special education classrooms.
The research also shows that black and Latino children are significantly less likely than their white and asian peers to be recommended for gifted and talented programs. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/01/why-are-there-so-few-black-children-in-gifted-and-talented-programs/424707/
New research has shown recently that conversely, black, female teachers have the highest expectations for black children and that black teachers are significantly more likely to recommend black children for gifted and talented programs. Further, research shows that teacher expectations reflect racial biases, ESPECIALLY, for black boys. http://news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2016/05/gifted-student-placement.shtml http://hub.jhu.edu/2016/03/30/racial-bias-teacher-expectations-black-white/
In addition, more data suggests that white students get experienced teachers, while black students get more police in schools. I have witnessed firsthand, the effects of policing in schools, the effects and biases of inexperienced teachers and the impact that this has had on students of color. The school-to-to-prison pipeline is a reality for too many of our students, at no fault of their own, but of a system that allows schools to operate militaristically and inequitably. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/civil-rights-data-collection_us_5755a512e4b0ed593f14fcb7 https://www.aclu.org/fact-sheet/locating-school-prison-pipeline
I could keep going, but as you can see, there are very serious racial cultural inequities happening within our schools and we need to start holding schools, including entire staff, accountable for these inequities. THIS is why I founded Equitable Schools. Education reform efforts, starting at the federal level, have mostly focused on testing and preparing students for tests. School quality is mostly predicated on how kids perform on tests; tests that are culturally irrelevant and flawed.
Equitable Schools is on a mission to hold schools accountable for the quality of their CULTURE as it pertains to education the children in its care. For this reason, Equitable Schools is working on developing a framework and accountability system that holds schools accountable for how racially and culturally equitable they are, as opposed to how well kids perform on state tests. We want all schools to become "Equitable Schools".
We define cultural equity within the following 3 pillars:
1. Culturally competent teachers
2. Culturally relevant curriculum
3. Culturally sensitive environments
I created this Crowdrise campaign to help raise seed funding for my organization. 100 percent of your donations will go to building the organization, funding our initiatives and ultimately gaining 501c3 status a not-for-profit organization.
Our current initiatives include:
1. A teacher recruitment campaign to recruit more Black and Brown teachers and and pop-up testimonial series that discusses people's experiences with, or lack thereof, having black teachers during their K-12 schooling experiences.
2. Developing an accountability system and framework for schools to use that improve racial and cultural equity within these three pillars.
3. Parent/Family workshops that improve homework help, testing help and advocacy.
The breakdown of the $5000:
1. Supporting our initiatives, workshops and operating costs. ($4000)
2. Attaining 501c3 status ($1000)
Again, I appreciate everybody's support. It means so much to me. All children deserve an equitable education. With your support, we can make meaningful change. HELP US HELP KIDS by helping improve the quality of the people, content and institutions that we entrust their care and learning to.
Check out our website (under construction), LIKE us on facebook, and follow us on Social Media!