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The Voice of the Black Community

Opinion

Letter: Racial equity training for Durham Public School staff
 
Published Friday, November 1, 2019
by The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People

On June 27, 2019, the Education Committee of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People presented the Durham Public Schools Board of Education a list of seven asks of the school district. 

DPS, under the leadership of Superintendent Pascal Mubenga, responded with information regarding the steps the district is taking to work toward fulfilling those asks.  Most notably, for the first time in DPS history, every new hire attended racial equity training at the start of the 2019-20 school year. Also, for the first time, racial equity training was offered for every certified staff member at the beginning of the year.

The Education Committee celebrates this progress, yet understands the road to racial equity is a marathon and not a sprint. With an intentional focus on racial equity, the district is heading in the right direction. We look forward to working alongside DPS to hold them accountable and to ensure that black children, specifically, and all children, generally, are receiving the education they deserve.  

We ask that Durham Public Schools:

  1. Ensures that by 3rd grade every child in the district will have had at least 2 classroom teachers of color: one black AND one brown. Target school year: Fall 2021
  2. Hosts an annual Educators of Color Job Fair starting with the 2019-20 school year.
  3. By Spring 2020, creates a detailed plan to increase recruitment efforts of educators from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  1. Targets schools with the top 20% of economic need, when deciding which schools receive new pilot programs. By Spring 2020, produce documentation that highlights this detailed process.
  2. Requires every new hire to attend racial equity training starting with the 2019-20 school year.
  3. Requires every staff member to attend racial equity training each year during the Week of Welcome, staring with the 2019-20 school year.
  4. Requires every school to complete a racial equity audit starting with the 2019-20 school year.

 

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