For the past decade, teachers and administrators have been working to provide equal opportunities for all students.
“We started talking about equity as a building… 15-16 years ago,” assistant principal John E. Thomas said.
Currently, that work has manifested in the teacher equity group, a group of teachers and administrators that meet to discuss, according to Thomas, “how we can make our curriculum less Eurocentric.”
English teacher Tamara Rodney is a member of the group. She hopes that the group is able to make “tangible change” at the high school.
“I just think we need to move to a place of action,” Rodney said.
The teacher equity group began by reading “Despite the Best Intentions,” a book by Amanda E. Lewis and John B. Diamond.
The book centers around a district similar to the Webster School District, and how inequity has affected it. In the book, despite all of the work the district does, “Those [minority] students would typically underperform,” Rodney said.
This school year, the group has begun to utilize PLC time to work with all staff in the building.
One of the main goals of the group is to make sure students of color are able to take more AP classes. According to Rodney, some students are “locking in” to certain tracks, which makes them unable to move into higher level classes.
A lot of the change that the group is working to make is structural.
“Racist systems exist… when we don’t deal with the reality for black and brown people,” Rodney said.
As for next steps, Rodney said “we still have a lot of work to do.” She wants the group “To continue to look at the data before us… So that we would service all students in the building.”
This is senior Ethan Weihl’s second year on ECHO Staff. He previously served as News Editor. He has not decided on college yet, but he wants to major in Political Science, History and/or Journalism.
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