The Equity and Excellence in Education Network, “Triple E,” is a new offering by MASA. Dr. Katie Pekel of the University of Minnesota and Mr. Sebastian Witherspoon of Equity Alliance are working with MASA staff and the Triple E Steering Committee to guide this work. We look forward to working with Katie and Sebastian well into the future and are grateful for the MASA Foundation's support of this crucially important work. A big thanks to the following MASA members who have committed to serve on the steering committee:
Tyrone Brookins, Assistant Superintendent, South Washington County Schools
Renee Corneille, Superintendent, St. Anthony-New Brighton Schools
Michael Favor, Assistant Superintendent, Roseville Area Schools & soon to be Superintendent, Intermediate School District 917
Annette Freiheit, Superintendent, Winona Area Schools
Renae Ouillette, Executive Director of Student Services, Lakeville Area Schools
Yeu Vang, Assistant Superintendent Office of Multilingual Learning, Saint Paul Public Schools
MASA’s Equity Statement: It is MASA’s responsibility to prioritize and allocate the resources necessary for each learner to thrive and reach their greatest potential in any Minnesota public educational institution or system. We fervently believe that every student deserves an educational experience grounded in high expectations that is free from bias, prejudice, and discrimination. In our roles, we must continue to lead the work of removing barriers so that every student has access to a high quality, rigorous education to fully prepare them for whatever path they choose.
Definitions Educational Equity - Educational practices, policies, and procedures that support academic fairness, inclusion, achievement, and opportunities to ensure that every child has access to resources, educators, and support they need to be successful.
Race Equity - Educational practices, policies, and procedures within a system or entity that focus on implementing equitable approaches to eradicate the overt and covert systems of power and privilege that have historically had significant adverse effects and impacts on populations of color. This includes the intentional shifting of policies, practices, attitudes, mindsets, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes based on race.
MASA Will Support You in this Work MASA plans to provide ongoing resources to support our members, such as:
Equity Symposium Leading for an Equitable System presented by Sebastian Witherspoon, Executive Director, Equity Alliance MN and Katie Pekel, Principal in Residence, University of Minnesota
Leading for equity in our schools requires us to have a deep understanding of how the different parts of the education system interrelate and how each part functions to create an equitable system for each and every student.
Through a lens of equity, Superintendents and system leaders will learn about a conceptual framework which includes key areas of focus for leaders to assess as they work toward achieving an equitable school system. Participants will hear from district leaders about specific equity efforts that are taking place in their respective districts, and learn how to leverage the collective actions of the system to ensure we are meeting the needs of all learners.
Other resources from MASA’s Equity & Excellence in Education Network: MASA Will Support You in this Work MASA plans to provide ongoing resources to support our members, such as:
• Convening meetings of the Equity & Excellence in Education (EEE) Network
• Convening Confidential Conversations – Power Hours
One hour facilitated Zoom meetings where colleagues sign on to have confidential conversations about issues facing them.
There is no cost to participate.
• Offering Professional Development Sessions
Each session is 2 hours (9 – 11 am). There is no cost to participate. There will be 1 hour of reading associated with the session. The reading will be required for anyone who would like to receive CEU’s for participating. Future and Previous Dates: We will notify members of Zoom registration in advance of the meetings ... January 11 –Engaging your community: Bringing them into the conversation February 8 –Assessing your system: Data analysis and voice seeking March 8 –Leader Development: preparing your leaders to lead April 5 - Teacher Development: Engaging your teachers
Dr. Katie Pekel and the University of Minnesota Recommended Resources
Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi - This is admittedly a long book, but perhaps the most influential in my understanding of race and racism. It really is a historical account of racism, one not presented in most history courses or traditional textbooks. I know Kendi's second book is a NYT Bestseller, and hard to get even on Amazon, and it is good as well, but in my opinion Stamped is the foundational reading that really helps make the more actionable work in How to be an Anti-Racist make sense. Stamped really is the WHY. It will also require Googling of A LOT of things - which leads to more learning!
Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You (YA Book) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi - This is the Young Adult version of Stamped From the Beginning that YA author Jason Reynolds wrote. In the audible version Reynolds also reads it - which I think is really pretty powerful.
White Fragility: Why it is so hard for white people to talk about race by Robin DiAngelo - This is the #1 Book on NYTimes list and Amazon. Though I want to be clear, I feel this book is for white people. She is also a highly sought after speaker (I brought her the U of M last year -though her YouTube clips really do the trick ;-) Her academic article that appeared in the Journal of International Pedagogy that became the book is available here. Her other academic articles and book chapters are available here.
Culturally Responsive School Leadership by Muhammad Khalifa - You will be getting this as part of MPA and we will use it in the Academy. Much of what we read in education is about culturally responsive pedagogy (Zaretta Hammond, Geneva Gay, Bettina Love...) but Muhammad is one of the few scholars who writes about culturally responsive leadership. The introduction to the book - which is really like a chapter is available for free download on the Harvard Press website.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander is an incredible account of the criminal justice system, something I knew very little about empirically before reading this book. It led me to reading research articles on SROs ... let me know if you want me to send any of those your way – the research is clear – we should not have SROs in our buildings.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown - Channing Brown has also recently been on Brenee Brown's Podcast (have not listened to that one yet either... but you see a theme here;-) This book was interesting in the fact that the author, a Black woman, tells of her experiences as a young professional (in non-profit work) but also reflects on her own knowledge acquisition and looks back on childhood experiences.
Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Eve Ewing - This is an account of the closing of schools on Chicago's storied "South Side ''. What is so interesting about this book is that Ewing not only grew up there and has deep personal connections, she is also a researcher so the telling of the story through research based methodologies is super interesting.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates - This is a reflection on eight of the pieces Coates wrote for The Atlantic, one from each of the years President Obama was in the White House. While the original pieces are interesting, and in typical Coates style, masterfully written, it is the introductions in reflection to each that situate them in their place in time and his thoughts on them now. The one about Bill Cosby illustrates Coates’ honest vulnerability as he reflects on himself as a 'struggling writer'.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo - This is a fairly quick read and while some of it may likely leave you nodding your head, "yes" it is a good reminder of things we may want to think about (metacognition is always good!) as we engage in discussions about race.
Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit and her seminal article that became the book: The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children - In the past when principals have told me they are going to begin equity work and where should they start with their staff.... after I have asked them what they have read ;-) , I have suggested starting with Lisa Delpit’s article "The Silenced Dialogue..." for a few reasons. 1.) It's good 2.) Most educators recognize the name Lisa Delpit 3.) It was written in 1988. That last one is significant because as you read it, I think you will find what Delpit was arguing for in 1988 has largely not happened.
Just Mercy: A Story of Injustice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson - I read this probably 5 years ago when it was the "freshman read" at the U. It is now a motion picture, which is also good. Stevenson's book is so well written and the personal stories are captivating, following this up with Alexander's The New Jim Crow may be a good combination.
The School to Prison Pipeline: The Role of Culture and Discipline in School Edited by Nathern Okilwa, Muhammad Khalifa and Felicia Briscoe - This is a compilation of a number of different topics, each with its own chapter. The chapters on PBIS and Restorative Practices are must reads for any school implementing or engaging in these strategies. We read them as part of the CRSL Academy.