Increase the black teacher poulation in Ousd
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Mass incarceration is a big problem in the United States today, more specifically for African Americans. This issue dates back until the dismantlement of slavery, but the new wave of incarceration is a form of modern slavery. The first step to getting African American out of prisons is to get them off the street, before that we need to get them good jobs, and for any of that to work we need them to thrive in the classroom. It can be difficult for African Americans youth to stay the course and get a degree when their teachers do not support them, have strong biases, and do not understand them. Those things can be differed by African American teachers and mentors in schools. The problem that we are addressing is the fact that the students are predominantly black and brown, and almost all of their teachers are white. For the past couple years OUSD has posted the racial breakdown of the district. On the 2017-2018 edition, it said that the student body is only 11.4 percent white while the teacher body was ~50 percent. The fact that there is such a large gap between the demographics of our student and teacher bodies in our school district demonstrates how this issue of diversity in the classroom is real for us and those in the surrounding communities.
Consequently, this gap causes decreased graduation levels, implicit and explicit bias, and the lack of teacher mentorship and support. In an article by Bill de Blasio, It said that diverse classrooms can play a key role in dispelling damaging stereotypes and teach the students to appreciate their differences. By associating a diverse teacher workforce and the dispelling of damaging stereotypes, Bill de Blasio argues that the addition of teachers of color will bring students closer together to have a stronger community. Since the community will be stronger within the new generation of students, the school system will export more understanding people who learn to accept differences and make equity a reality in the United States. The problem of teacher diversity is something that most turn a blind eye to, but in reality it is something that can bring african Americans out of this dark, violent, and subordinate view to unify our country and create equity for all.
We demand for an increase in the black teacher population. We are specifically calling out for Black teachers(not only for the black community but in all oakland schools). Our ask is that We want Tara Gard(deputy chief of talent division in the ousd schools) to take out 1 day out of each year to attend a Bay Area black expo and demand for them to apply at Oakland tech and to recruit more black teachers. We feel that her viewing this will change her views on the issues in our schools. We went to a dinner produced by The Black Teacher Project, celebrating black teachers. We interviewed them and they think Tara should do this. Our action plan is to try to increase the minority teachers population by implementing and developing a new recruitment plan. We are trying to petition for teachers to come from HBCU job fairs and apply for our Oakland schools.
In a recent article by “the black teacher effect”, there was a study showing that a black student who had at least one black teacher in elementary school were 29% less likely to dropout of high school (which since then, is now much more). In a recent survey we made, the mass majority of the 9th grade students at Oakland Tech came to a correspondence that they have all non-minority teachers. This lead us to follow up question we asked, “can you relate or feel comfortable talking to your teachers.” Almost 90% of the students inputted that they can agree with their teachers only 30% of the time. However, an increasing amount of minority students felt there was almost an ethnic gap for discipline due to the fact that they felt that they would get in more trouble than the white students.
Like in the “Black panther Party Ten point plan”, we “We want decent Education for our people that exposes the truth nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society”. To begin with, we will give our petition signatures to Ms.Morrison(co-principal), Mr.Diaz(co-principals), and Tara Gard We are trying to bring awareness towards not only our signatories/petition signers, but also to our school leaders to prioritize diversity so they are intentional about recruiting minority teachers (not just choosing 1 token minority teacher). As an incoming 10th grader, from my own personal experiences and cultural backgrounds, I believe that I can understand and more trust educators that are perceived with cultural and experiential similarities.
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