Volume 21, No. 3
The Role of Schools in Racial Justice
Because they are central to redressing the country’s longstanding racial inequities, public schools have long been at the nexus of fraught debates over what constitutes equity. As many states considered measures this year animated by varying interpretations of critical race theory and concerns about its application to K-12 teaching, this tension came into sharper than normal focus.
The debates focused on “what” and “how”: What history do teachers teach? How do they handle hard history and contentious issues? We hope the questions of why and whether schools have a role in promoting a just society are settled: All children can learn if they receive excellent instruction and equal opportunities to learn, have the supports they need, and feel safe and a sense of belonging at school. It is what justice requires, and yet the country is not there yet. The authors in this issue address how schools can progress toward equity.
Progress is possible. Back to normal is not good enough.
It takes a whole community to lift up policies and practices that support equity and end those that don't.
State policymakers should name diversity as a marker of teacher quality.
Decoupling where students receive education from where they live is key to undoing the system's racist roots.
For many, the pandemic has been just one of a host of barriers to a high-quality education.
California, Connecticut, and Texas broaden their elective offerings.
State board tees up a revision process and standards characterized by civic engagement and cultural responsiveness.