Support equity & diversity in Utah schools!

Support equity & diversity in Utah schools!

May 15, 2021
Signatures: 1,295Next Goal: 1,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Utah Educational Equity Coalition

May 12, 2021

Dear Governor Cox, Utah legislators, USBOE and local school board members,

Every day when a student enters school, they embody not only their own hopes and dreams, but the economic security of their families and the future viability of our beloved Utah. To secure this, our dedicated educators show up ready to serve each and every student, inclusive of that student’s racial, ethnic, religious, economic, and cultural identities. Great teachers know that when a student sees themselves in the curriculum and knows their values are honored, they are empowered to engage personally with the learning and succeed.

As educators, researchers, parents and voters, we the undersigned ask you to:

  •  Support educational equity, as defined by the Utah State Board of Education:
    Acknowledging that all students are capable of learning, educational equity is the distribution of resources to provide equal opportunities based upon the needs of each individual student. Equitable resources include funding, programs, policies, initiatives and supports that recognize each student’s unique background and school context to guarantee that all students have access to high-quality education.
  •  Honestly address race and racism in our history and in society, and its continuing impact on achieving true equality for students and communities of color
  • Maintain a teacher’s right to build community and understanding in the classroom by incorporating multi-culturalism and acknowledgement of diversity into the learning
  • Firmly reject notions of color-blindness and the misguided effort to narrow the teaching of American history to European-centric narratives
  • Dismiss politically motivated and divisive controversies aimed at disrupting public education, such as the current drive to ban “critical race theory”—an academic research framework that analyzes the presence of race and racism in culture, history and policy and how to resolve these inequities
  • Reaffirm the Utah Portrait of a Graduate competency that states:
    Lifelong learners will be able to generalize self-respect by establishing and appropriately expressing the unique values, privileges and needs associated with their own cultural, racial, political and interpersonal groups to promote personal wellbeing, self-advocacy and contribution to their diverse community.

The mission of education is to prepare and empower each student to be a productive citizen and contributing member of society. In America, equality is enshrined in our Constitution and celebrated in our anthems. Public education is the great engine of American equality—when it works well, each student is equally prepared to succeed in work, college and beyond. But not every student enters school equally prepared and with equal opportunity.  Educational equity is the work of schools to achieve equality of education for all students.

Here in Utah, we deeply value our own family stories of struggle and triumph—they define who we are and what we value most. Whether a Utahn has an indigenous heritage stretching back thousands of years or descends from determined handcart pulling pioneers, it empowers us as a community when all of us are included in the histories we tell. We ask you to categorically reject the inequitable effort to deny diversity and ban multi-cultural approaches in education that honors all of us. When school works for each and every learner—no matter their race, nationality, religion, and gender—each individual student is equally empowered to build their own life, success, and independence. What’s more American than that!

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Signatures: 1,295Next Goal: 1,500
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