Optimizing the impact of education policy decisions for African American learners
Building Educator/Legislator relationships:
Policy Makers are unique individuals. Their capacity for long term planning extends itself into the authentic world of youth that attend their district, state and national school districts. They are guided by a real statement. Is this going to be excellent for children; mine and yours.
Schools best function with supportive policies that increase opportunities for students to improve their outcomes. State legislators must have a clear understanding of best practices to make decisions that dynamically affect learning. State affiliates can strengthen communication by planning annual Capital visit days, legislative panels, or roundtables. This will also require a deeper understanding of state policy, as conversations must be intentional. Discuss development and strategy for state education policy institutes.
Building relationships with community stakeholders
Districts that partner with local government, industry, and nonprofits better supplement learning with meaningful resources. Partnership audits will guide exploration of availability and potential. Frameworks must be strategically developed to allow maximization for outside sources.
*For example, city funds to support before and after school care and summer slide, nonprofit resources, and college partnerships that require policy from non-educational bodies.
- Pledge to develop success initiatives including:
Policy Subcommittees, Curriculum & Academic Subcommittees, Exceptional Student Subcommittees and Finance Subcommittees
Explore effective governance training for building cultural responsiveness in curriculum, expansion of funding, and ethics. Training opportunities should not be limited to education-based development, as education policy makers must be aware of all aspects of best practices in decision making.
Review state and local policies to ensure best language for:
Safe environments, Character Education, Academic Excellence, Data Analysis, Focus Group Meetings, Strategic Planning,
Policy reviews and opportunities
District policy equity audits
Districts must dissect local policy to review rules that lead to inequitable consequences or discrimination. A social justice framework must be developed. Several districts across the country have been exposed for policies that punish students for hairstyles reflective of African American culture. Exploring The Crown Act will address specific advocacy needs.
African American Studies
Several states have implemented African American Studies into statewide curriculum. A strategy for development, advocacy for adoption, best practices, and resource allocation will best support new efforts. Support for Congresswoman Marcia Fudge’s Black History is American History Act will ensure federal resources for efforts.
Several states have adopted EdTPA as their education certification system. However, data and research indicate negative success for African American teacher candidates. Fully explore the program and develop advocacy and improvement strategies. If EdTPA is currently adopted, review policy to ensure growth of diversity is supported and prioritized.
A full review of the “Lift Every Voice Plan” and the “Biden Plan for Education”
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has released plans to address disparities and inequities in education and our communities. Critically review the plan to develop a set of required commitments, non-negotiables, or policy recommendations. Explore connections within the Congressional Black Caucus for discussions. Develop follow-up strategy to ensure recommendations are considered.
e. Review of equity in federal policies
Elementary and Secondary Education Act Every Student Succeeds Act, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
COVID re-entry efforts
As the national pandemic forges onward and threatens to take more lives we are working to add policies that will protect the rights of students in a technology driven world. In addition, we are writing policies that will give students options for learning.
As the concern for our Black youth and their lives continue to rampantly be impacted, we are addressing safety specifics, small group classrooms, mentoring, college and career readiness enhancements, training for youth and parents through our virtual parent engagement opportunities. We are also planning the possibility of three options for re-entry after dealing for two months with the pandemic.
As equity issues are growing, we lobby for additional funding beyond the Cares Act to educate our youth. We must meet more with legislators than ever before and be careful about who we elect to office.
Ms. Aicha Davis
(Member – Texas State Board of Education)
Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill
(Board member – Detroit Public Schools Community District & NABSE Past President – 2007 – 2009)
Mr. Casey Thomas
(Chairman – Dallas (TX) City Council & Member – Texas ABSE)