Critical Race Theory FAQ gives talking points to educators
ACSA equity courses planned for fall and 2022
October 4, 2021
Equity-related professional development events and resource-sharing are on the horizon at ACSA’s Equity Department as school administrators settle into the new school year.
On Sept. 16, ACSA released a one-page FAQ on Critical Race Theory, a high-level legal concept that holds that racism impacts many areas of society. The FAQ is part of a series of resources the Equity Department, in collaboration with superintendents, plans to release over the coming months to help administrators understand Critical Race Theory and respond to their communities’ concerns about it.
“Critical Race Theory has gained a lot of national attention and become a lightning rod issue,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Paul Gothold. “This is an opportunity to talk about what we’re doing to make our educational systems work for every student so that racial, social or cultural factors aren’t predictors of whether or not students are prepared for college and career.”
San Diego County Office of Education released its own equity toolkit to assist its superintendents in discussing the importance of equity in their districts. The toolkit includes the county office of education’s “equity blueprint” and sample letters to staff and parents.
“Our goal in creating the toolkit was to help educational leaders engage in conversations with students, parents, employees and members of our communities about how schools are working to make campuses safe, welcoming places where all students feel honored and valued and are encouraged to be critical thinkers and active participants in the world around them,” Gothold said.
ACSA Senior Director of Equity and Inclusion Adonai Mack added that it is of extreme importance that school leaders know what Critical Race Theory entails, what it does not entail and how it differs from existing equity policies in schools.
“Equity initiatives are under attack,” Mack said. “(Critical Race Theory) is not implementing cultural proficiency; it is not having guided discussions on systemic racism; it is not being trained on your biases and it is not strategies to develop relationships with students … and no one at the K-12 level is teaching CRT to students.”
While the Equity Department continues its work on Critical Race Theory and equity resources, professional development planning is underway as well. This fall, members will have the chance to sign up for the “Gender Inclusive Series” training, hosted by ACSA and Gender Spectrum. Sessions will include information on language and policies surrounding gender issues, and how to work with parents and implement plans to become a gender-inclusive school.
Next year will see the return of ACSA’s Equity Institute. The annual event, which skipped 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set for April 28-29 in Pasadena and gives school leaders strategies to create equity policies in their districts.
Mack said he’s also in the process of planning a LGBTQ Institute, ideally in the summer.
“This is one equity issue that needs to be addressed by our association in general,” he said.
Resources online
Read the FAQ on ACSA's Resource Hub and check out SDCOE’s Toolkit.
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