President and CEO Robert Hull Reflects on George Floyd Court Ruling
In a letter to NASBE members, President and CEO Robert Hull reflects on this week’s court ruling for the murder of George Floyd. He notes the leadership of state boards of education in addressing racial issues confronting our nation, and notes there is still work to be done to ensure we educate all students in the manner they deserve.
To say that the last 16 months have been challenging for us all is a monumental understatement. All sectors of our society have grappled with myriad issues as a result of the deadly pandemic—educationally, financially, physically, socially—both personally and collectively. Simultaneously, we face social and racial unrest that gets to the very soul of who we are as a nation. State boards of education are at the epicenter of both crises, and your work has never been more important.
I have been impressed by your leadership on both fronts, providing strategic and intentional leadership for your schools, districts, teachers, parents, and students. Because of your hard work and dedication, it appears we are moving beyond the pandemic, eager and ready to safely reopen school buildings for the next school year.
I am particularly encouraged by your leadership in addressing racial issues confronting our nation. You have gone beyond empty words and symbolic gestures to confront head-on the issue of systemic racism in public education by examining policies and practices that ensure that we educate all students in the manner they deserve.
NASBE’s Public Education Positions (PEP) committee is currently examining our own public positions with an eye toward equity. In October, the Delegate Assembly will have the opportunity to consider the committee’s recommendations to revise our organization’s positions and strengthen them. If your state does not have an active member of the PEP committee, I encourage you to get involved in this very important work.
While it was encouraging to see a court uphold its role in ensuring accountability for the murder of George Floyd this week, it is only a first step. There is much we must still do to promote racial equity in our institutions. Now is not the time to loosen our focus on equity. Instead, we must redouble our efforts to see that every trace of racism is eradicated from our schools. We must be steadfast in our commitment and pursuit of equity and excellence for all students.
Thank you for all you’ve done—and, most important, for committing to what you are yet to do.