Year in Review: Envisioning a Better Future for the Education System

A child running down an empty school hallway.
Image Source: Caleb Oquendo / Pexels

This piece is part of our 2021 Year in Review, a reflection on the issues and causes that mattered most this year – and the tangible ways you can support before year-end.

As a former educator, it pains me to see how stark our educational system has become. From the impact of the pandemic to the political battle affecting the health and wellbeing of teachers, students, and administrators, to the historical injustices that affect how funding and school staffing is structured today, it’s critical that we rally to reimagine this system. Fortunately, times of uncertainty and instability are ripe for re-envisioning. Today’s year-end roundup offers our recommendations from our learnings this past year.

TAKE ACTION

As parents: Consider your role as a teacher in a child’s life. Use these resources to develop a more inclusive worldview for you and your family.

As community members: Attend meetings for your local school or district, and advocate for accurate history taught in schools.
Work to end the presence of law enforcement on campus.

As concerned members of society: Support organizations working to make the curriculum more diverse, including, We Need Diverse Books and Learning for Justice.
Donate to scholarships for marginalized youth to attend higher education.

Support anti-racism curriculum in schools.

Since we’ve published this article, the attack on “critical race theory” has grown in states across the country, causing teachers to lose their jobs and books to be banned. Parents worried that their children – especially children of color – are missing out on a full and comprehensive education. Learn how you can advocate for an accurate curriculum in your classroom.

Advocate for “critical race theory” education.

Critical race theory is a far cry from what’s being banned in classrooms across the country. Learn more about the history of critical race theory, its difference from the controversy surrounding education, and how you can advocate for anti-racism resources to help teachers and administrators build inclusive classrooms.

Support community-based research.

Historically, research has been created with a white lens. And as the fervor to grab racial equity-related funding continues, white-led institutions are often taking narratives away from the communities that are directly impacted. We need to have a nuanced perspective in research that centers on marginalized voices. Learn more about the importance of community-based research. 

Support historically Black colleges and universities.

One way we can drive inclusivity cross-sector is by investing in diverse talent. Tiffany’s article about the role of historically Black colleges and universities in advancing diversity in STEM acts as a framework for understanding how any space that centers marginalized youth is critical for our collective growth.

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