Led by parents, the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice is organizing a movement to end the inequities in the city’s public school system. We are a collaborative of community-based organizations and unions whose members include culturally diverse parents, community members, students and educators. We are motivated by the urgent need to obtain a quality and well-rounded education for all students. We will mobilize the power of parents and the community to affect policy change and create a more equitable educational system.
All New York City Children Deserve Culturally Response Education!
As parents, we want our children to graduate from high school prepared for college and careers and lives of learning and leadership. While NYC schools are some of the most culturally and linguistically diverse in the nation, with 180 languages spoken, enormous achievement gaps remain. Many destructive forces contribute to these unacceptable outcomes, including the ways that systemic racism, overt and implicit bias play out inside schools. In order to help students achieve their goals, improve outcomes for all students and create oases from racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia and other biases, the NYC school system needs Culturally Responsive Education.
Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) is a method of rigorous, student-centered education. CEJ calls on the NYC Department of Education to implement CRE in the following ways:
- 1. Work to ensure school and district staff represent the diversity of the NYC Schools population; promote district-wide skills in culturally responsive education and anti-discriminatory practices
- Provide classes, curricula, projects and resources designed to celebrate the rich diversity of NYC Schools students
- Cultivate a positive, culturally responsive culture in schools that respects and honors all youth regardless of race, culture, and abilities
- Champion increased parent engagement efforts that are culturally responsive and promote collaborative efforts to help students grow
CEJ and Allies Take City Hall!
CEJ made their demands for NYC schools to adopt Culturally Responsive Education loud and clear at a rally at City Hall this past Tuesday. In the wake of a racist slavery lesson at a Bronx middle school, parents, students, elected officials, and education equity advocates alike came together to let the Mayor’s office and the Department of Education know that our communities will not let this disgraceful incident get swept under the rug. Over 50 people entered City Hall, singing and chanting, until their voices were heard and Natasha Capers, CEJ coordinator, met with the Mayor’s chief of staff to discuss CEJ’s demands.
Since last March, CEJ and allies have been fighting for the Mayor to make Culturally Responsive Education a key part of his education agenda. This includes implement a curriculum that teaches historical truths and expanding anti-bias trainings to thousands of teachers, administrators, and school staff. Unfortunately, only one half of one percent of NYC’s teaching force are participating in this type of cultural competency training. The Mayor must be held accountable for the dehumanizing actions against students of color by school staff. Our voices will be heard.
Listen here to Coalition for Educational Justice Coordinator, Natasha Capers address the need for cultural competency training for school staff on WNYC’s All Things Considered. “We actually need to tell the truth when we’re teaching history even when it makes our country, our city, look bad…especially when we’re uncomfortable with the truth.” – Natasha Capers
Click below to watch CEJ and allies in action!