We will teach into an inclusive curriculum that represents and respects diverse cultures and promotes rigorous and relevant instruction for all.
Student ownership in learning is critical to student engagement, and this ownership is difficult to attain without positive student-teacher relationships, high quality instruction, and curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant to students. The Task Force believes there is a deep need to systematically review and enhance all curricula to ensure there is adequate and accurate representation and celebration of diverse cultures – specifically African-American culture. In addition, high expectations should be in place for all students, regardless of color, and we must intentionally explore discrepancies within our system that may present opportunity gaps.
- We will make a concentrated effort to include diverse viewpoints in all curriculum and instruction. While many teachers currently work to do this in their classrooms, diverse representation in learning cannot be left to chance. Due to longstanding bias and/or slanted perspectives in schools, most teachers are products of an educational system that has not been fully inclusive or reflective of diverse cultures. Our staff will therefore likely will need training and/or additional materials to adequately adjust their curriculum and instruction.
- We will conduct regular equity/cultural audits of curriculum, across disciplines and at all levels, facilitated by a diverse team that includes parents and/or members of the community. Recommendations and subsequent changes identified through audits will be made public, as appropriate. Student voice should be included in equity/cultural audits to ensure their perspective is genuinely valued as part of the process.
- We will create a Cultural Review Committee to provide feedback and recommendations about newly written curriculum before it goes to the Curriculum Review Committee for approval. Teachers writing curriculum, and those recommending purchase of instructional resources, will be asked to ensure diverse representative and accurate depiction of all cultures. Recommendations of the Cultural Review Committee – and subsequent adjustments to curriculum – will be shared with the Curriculum Review Committee and the Board of Education before adoption.
- We will assess levels of rigor and relevance within the curriculum – from a broad and cultural perspective, and the degree to which our curriculum and instructional practices lead to high levels of thinking and student engagement.
- We will establish a committee to materials examine and provide feedback about gender, race, etc. in texts, textbooks, and other materials used for learning. Student voice should again be included in material audits – including those for new purchases – to ensure their perspective is genuinely valued as part of the process.
- We will explore the feasibility of a required African-American history course to be taught at the middle or high school level.