If anything good has come out of this difficult past year, it is the rise of long overdue conversations on race, poverty, and inequity.
“The time is now to address these inequities head on. Students who were struggling will keep struggling unless we take active measures to catch them up. Students of color will keep falling behind unless we eliminate the biases and practices that impacted their pre-COVID learning.” PCCY’s Tomea Sippio-Smith delivered this powerful message to the PA Legislative Black Caucus and the PA House Democratic Policy Committee last week.
The Black Lives Matter movement spurred frank conversations and calls to action about discrimination in schools and communities. The pandemic exposed the stark disparity between wealthy and low-income districts in education resources like home computers, high-speed internet, and academic supports. (Students of color are 466% more likely to attend a high poverty school than White kids.)
Young people of color are now bravely speaking out and demanding change because it is literally their futures on the line. Student after student spoke boldly at state Senator Tim Kearney’s Student Roundtable on Racism about experiences with racism in their school. Overwhelmingly they felt dismissed when they reported it to administration. But a few students told of their schools creating safe spaces for students of color or implementing Equity Officers or other intervention measures.
Should you think disparities are just a Philly problem, we’ve got some news for you. Tune in to PCCY’s webinar next Thursday at 3:00pm to hear the findings of our groundbreaking research on the racial disparities in Philly’s suburban districts.
Join the conversation with a diverse panel of experts:
- Karen Farmer White, Chairperson, Pennsylvania State Board of Education
- Rev. Maxcine Collier, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity
- Andrea Custis, President and CEO, The Urban League of Philadelphia
- Angelique Hinton, President, Greater Norristown NAACP
- Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo, Executive Director, CEO, ACLAMO
- Harold Jordan, Senior Policy Advocate, ACLU of Pennsylvania
- Stephen Rodriguez, Superintendent of Schools, Pottstown School District
- Christopher Rogers, Black Lives Matter at School
- Tomea Sippio-Smith, K12 Education Policy Director, PCCY
Register for the Education Equity in the Suburbs webinar at http://bit.ly/3-25Webinar.
As we dare to hope the darkest days of COVID are behind us, let’s dedicate our attention to making it right for Black and Brown children and youth.