Guest post by Cory Radisch, Follow Cory on Twitter @cradisch_wc
Wait, that’s not how the saying goes! However, even though data still demonstrates consistent opportunity and achievement gaps in schools, there are many who think things are not broken. It doesn’t matter that the data tells a different story. In many places, if adults are satisfied and comfortable, many believe the system “ain’t broke”! My longtime mentor, Marc Natanagara, used the title of this blogpost with former staff, not only to inspire them to challenge the status quo, but also to let them know it’s perfectly acceptable to break the system! It was appropriate long ago and it’s even more appropriate today. If we are going to truly transform education, then we just may need to break it.
- We need to break the system that marginalizes students!
- We need to break the system that perpetuates learning and opportunity gaps!
- We need to break the system that disproportionately disciplines students of color!
- We need to break the system that disproportionately has fewer students of color in AP and advanced classes!
- We need to break the system where your zip code usually determines what level of education you receive!
- We need to break the system that fails to recruit and retain teachers of color!
- We need to break the system that teaches a unilateral perspective of history!
Breaking the system is not blowing up the system. Breaking the system is about addressing and interrupting implicit and explicit bias in our policies, curricula, and procedures. It will undoubtedly cause discomfort. Then again, when has breaking something not created discomfort? We can either be comfortable or we can grow, but we can’t do both! I would love to know what you will break in order to ensure equity in your district, school, or classroom.
This post is dedicated to my longtime mentor and friend, educator Marc Natanagara, who recently retired after 33 years of breaking things that weren’t broken!
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Looking for a new book to read? Many stories from educators, two student chapters, and a student-designed cover for In Other Words.
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