Topic

educational equity

31 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Congress

Tell Congress #itstime to stop blocking school integration #STRIKE301and302

The National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD) urges Congress to not include any provisions in the FY 2019 appropriations bills that prohibit federal funding from being used for transportation to further racial integration in public schools. Such provisions have been included in appropriations legislation since at least 1974. Sections 301 and 302 are from a bygone era. We must no longer passively accept the status quo of their presence in appropriations bills. It’s time for a shift that puts the federal government firmly on the side of local communities that desire to use their federal funds to bolster school integration efforts.  The anti-integration provisions unnecessarily limit states and local communities from utilizing the full range of school improvement techniques and other opportunities available to them under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), stripping them of the very flexibility the law was designed to extend. By barring the use of federal funds to transport students for the purposes of racial integration, these anti-integration provisions undercut educators’ ability to explore innovative and potentially significant reforms. Specifically, the provisions say: Section 301: “No funds appropriated in this Act may be used for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to overcome racial imbalance in any school or school system, or for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to carry out a plan of racial desegregation of any school or school system.” Section 302: “None of the funds contained in this Act shall be used to require, directly or indirectly, the transportation of any student to a school other than the school which is nearest the student's home, except for a student requiring special education, to the school offering such special education, in order to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For the purpose of this section an indirect requirement of transportation of students includes the transportation of students to carry out a plan involving the reorganization of the grade structure of schools, the pairing of schools, or the clustering of schools, or any combination of grade restructuring, pairing, or clustering. The prohibition described in this section does not include the establishment of magnet schools.” Section 426 of General Education Provisions Act (GEPA): “No funds appropriated for the purpose of carrying out any applicable program may be used for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to overcome racial imbalance in any school or school system, or for the transportation of students or teachers (or for the purchase of equipment for such transportation) in order to carry out a plan of racial desegregation of any school or school system...” Despite the outdated thinking this language represents, the research on the benefits of diversity are clear. Students attending racially and socioeconomically diverse schools have better test scores and higher college attendance rates than peers attending racially segregated schools with high concentrations of poverty. The benefits from attending diverse schools also continue into adulthood, such as through reduced segregation in neighborhoods, colleges, and workplaces, higher levels of social cohesion, and reduced racial prejudice. Social science also demonstrates the democratic value of meaningful, sustained cross-racial contact among youth. Dozens of organizations and individuals signed on to two letters submitted to Congress on May 31, 2018 by NCSD, requesting that lawmakers commit to removing anti-integration provisions in their FY2019 appropriations bill. Co-signers include a diversity of organizations and individuals, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, AASA / The School Superintendents Association, National Education Association, and American Federation of Teachers. Signers collectively represent millions of educators, advocates, and other education leaders.  Add your name to this petition to tell Congress #itstime to #STRIKE301and302.  For more information please visit http://school-diversity.org/rider2019, which is dedicated to this subject. About the NCSD The National Coalition on School Diversity (www.school-diversity.org) is a network of 50+ civil rights organizations, university-based research centers, practitioners, and state and local coalitions working to support government policies that promote school diversity and reduce racial isolation. 

National Coalition on School Diversity
2,492 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to California State Senate

Provide Transitional Kindergarten in all age-eligible California school districts

The Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381), passed in September 2010, changed the required birthday for admission to kindergarten in California from December 2 to September 1. SB 1381 also created a new program for young 5 year olds (those turning five between September 2 and December 2) called transitional kindergarten. According to the California Department of Education, all age-eligible California school districts are required to provide transitional kindergarten. However, some do not. In particular, some basic aid districts (districts who receive little state funding, because their revenue from local property taxes exceeds what they would receive under the Local Control Funding Formula) have chosen to not offer transitional kindergarten.  I am a parent of a child whose birthday falls between September 2-December 2. He will not be 5 by September 1, therefore unable to start kindergarten until the following year. I recently discovered my son’s school district no longer offers transitional kindergarten. They say they are a basic aid district and receive no funding from the state for the program. The bill's author, retired State Senator Joe Simitian, argues that parents such as myself can either, “persuade their [school] board to provide the program...litigate, or they can ask the state Legislature to reconfirm the fact that (transitional kindergarten) is a requirement.” https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2013/10/20/transitional-kindergarten-debate-required-or-not I am asking my state legislature to do the latter. While this bill was passed into law eight years ago, California school districts are clearly not all in agreement with its current language, leaving parents such as myself confused about our options for choice.  I have spoken with my son’s school district and their response to me was that there was no funding in their budget for a program that is not state mandated. However, per the TK funding page (http://www.tkcalifornia.org/tk-roadmap/funding/ “according to School Services of California, ‘For funding purposes, transitional kindergarten (TK) is kindergarten. Any funding (federal, state, and local) currently provided to local educational agencies (LEAs) to support kindergarten (K) also includes TK pupils.’” Furthermore, "the 2015-16 state budget further clarified the law to allow school districts to enroll 4 year olds even if they turn 5 after the December cutoff date, providing another local option to get more children ready for kindergarten." http://www.tkcalifornia.org/about-tk/about-tk.html Please help me reconcile my son's school district's interpretation of the law with what the California Department of Education, tkcalifornia.org, Senate Bill 1381, and EdCode 48000c claim is true. Reconfirm the fact that transitional kindergarten is a requirement in California and that "districts must offer TK and kindergarten classes for all age-eligible children to attend." https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kinderfaq.asp Thank you! Katherine Fitzpatrick San Diego, California  

Katherine Fitzpatrick
145 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Kirsten Gillibrand, MaryEllen Elia, New York State Department Of Education, Board of Regents, New York State House, Liz Krueger, Brian Benjamin

Encourage K-12 schools in New York State to #teachaboutwomen and gender

Petition New York State to set an example and teach about more women in high school! #teachaboutwomen “I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong.” -Vita Sackville-West The Problem: New York State's High School history curricula, like most around the nation, includes little to no information about women. ™As of the 2017/2018 school year, there are a total of 10 references to women and gender in New York State’s High School Social Studies Curriculum: ™In eight out of these 10 cases “women” appears on a list with other groups following phrases like “diverse groups” and “such as” or “including.”™ Here are all the references to women for the entire four years: –Once in the 9th Grade Global History Sequence (“Shifting roles of men and women” in the Neolithic Revolution) Twice in 10th Grade Global History Sequence (part of lists during the study of the Enlightenment and, later, imperialism) Seven times in the 11th Grade US History sequence (Role in Revolutionary War, Early 19th C, Reconstruction, World War I, the 1920’s, World War II, and finally the Second Wave Feminist movement). But, as of 2017, only 1% of the questions on the US History Regents Examination address women at all. Zero times in the 12 Grade courses on Participation in Government and Civics and Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance The Solution: Teach about women by putting women on the curriculum and making resources for teaching about women and gender readily available. Re-write the NYS Social Studies Standards, grades 9-12 to include rich material that addresses women’s experience, the accomplishments of individual women and questions of gender throughout the year. Add a criterion under Social Studies Practices, grades 9-12 – Civic Practices that includes “developing awareness of gender equity and its complex history.” Add “Read for underlying gender, racial or other biases” to the NYS Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, grades 6-12 under “Key Ideas and Details.” Hold workshops and build an online database to give teachers the tools and skills they need to use gender-inclusive materials and practices with their students.   Our Mission: To change the stories we tell about women, gender, and power in classrooms and beyond.  Approach: We  harness the passion of educators and supporters to fight to Change Policy: Rewrite educational policy and learning standards to include rich and intersectional material on women and gender. Change Classrooms: Build an online database of resources and offer workshops to give educators the tools and skills they need to teach about women and the complex, intersectional history of gender roles. Build Communities: Cultivate supportive networks through strategic partnerships, social media, and events that connect young women and girls with thoughtful adults of all genders who can help them thrive and succeed beyond school in their personal and professional lives. To learn more, contact Georgina Emerson at teachaboutwomen@gmail.com.  Twitter:  @teachaboutwomen  Hashtag: #teachaboutwomen  Website: www.TeachAboutWomen.org

Georgina Emerson
606 supporters