Honesty in Education So Every Student Can Thrive
Honesty in Education
No matter our color, background, or zip code, we want our kids to have an education that imparts honesty about who we are, integrity in how we treat others, and courage to do what’s right. But some politicians are using the dog whistle strategy of distraction and division by trying to dictate what teachers say and block kids from learning our shared stories of confronting injustice to build a more perfect union. Joining together, we can demand that our schools have the resources to meet every child’s needs with well-trained and supported teachers and a curriculum that helps them reckon with and shape our future.
Sample School Board Resolution to Spark Curiosity & Critical Thinking to Prepare All Students To Thrive
In support of public schools communities, school boards must engage educators, students, and parents to create nurturing learning and teaching environments; build support and respect for educators as trained professionals; and ensure that all students can thrive regardless of their ZIP Code, color or background. Public education must value honesty about who we are; integrity in how we treat others; and courage to do what’s right by listening to, learning from, and respecting diverse viewpoints. Through collaboration, we can come together to more deeply engage our school board and school community to ensure opportunity for all.
NEA has developed a sample resolution and guidance for community engagement (hyperlink to both of the docs attached here) that can be used as a template for local school districts to create their own school board resolution. The model resolution contains a commitment to affirming inclusion of all students, respect for educators as professionals, and support for a proven, research-based culturally-responsive education.
- Model School Board Resolution Template (download PDF or Word version)
- Model School Board Resolution Template: Guidance for Engaging Communities (download PDF or Word version)
- Know Your Rights – What You Should Know About State Measures Restricting Certain Instruction on Racism and Sexism
- Marietta City Schools Board of Education Resolution Affirming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Marietta City Schools (Ga.)
- A Resolution of the Board of Directors of North Thurston Public Schools to Affirm NTPS’s Commitment to Equity in Education
North Thurston Public Schools (Wash.)
- Resolution Of The Lake Oswego School Board Of Directors Condemning Racism And Committing To Being An Anti-Racist School District
Lake Oswego (Ore.) School Board
- Resolution of the Durham Public Schools Board of Education Opposing House Bill 324s
Durham Public Schools (N.C.)
- Public school leaders pledge to support, expand equity efforts
- Resolution Adopted by Metro Nashville Board of Education
Metropolitan Nashville Education Association
Know Your Rights Guides
To date, at least 10 states have adopted measures that seek to limit how topics like racism and sexism can be taught in K-12 schools. But as politicians mischaracterize and stoke fears about what is taught in schools, educators are holding firm in their support for a proven, research-based, and culturally responsive education for all students. Take a look at state-specific Know Your Rights guidance for educators.
By Christine E. Sleeter, Miguel Zavala
Interdisciplinary ethnic studies help foster cross-cultural understanding among students of color and white students, and aids students in valuing their own cultural identity while appreciating the differences around them.
MUST WATCH: "We Shouldn't Shy Away From Kids' Questions About Race"
June 16, 2021
NEA President Becky Pringle spoke with NBC Washington about attempted restrictions on teaching lessons about race and racism. When kids ask questions about race, Pringle told NBC, adults need to be “courageous enough to answer those questions truthfully.”
“We will continue to lift up our voices,” added Pringle. “We will continue to march and rally, […] so that we can continue to do the unfinished work of this nation because we all believe in those ideals that we have never quite realized.”
- Our children deserve to know the truth. Honest education can’t leave out race and racism.
Op-ed by NEA President Becky Pringle
USA Today, June 29, 2021
- Educators and Allies in 115 Cities Join Together and Pledge to Teach the Truth
NEA.org, August 27, 2021
- Teach Truth: Know Your Rights FAQ
We Need to Teach the Truth About Systemic Racism, Say Educators
For more than 20 years, Misty Crompton has taught middle school social studies in Derry, N.H., and she prides herself on using a variety of well researched, scholarly documents, primary sources, and other tools to help students learn the history and experiences—whether Black or White, Latino or Asian, Native or newcomer—of those living within the United States.
“It’s called good teaching, to tell truths and have students look at a variety of perspectives and experiences—and a rich landscape of experiences. Otherwise, it’s just propaganda,” Crompton says.
INTRODUCING THE SERIES “CORRECT(ED)”
Historical Inaccuracies Are Barriers To Racial Justice
This series, Correct(ed), by James W. Loewen, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont, tackles problems in history that we often teach wrong. Lowen is also the author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me” and “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader.” Each article in the series comes with a short annotated bibliography.
Hopefully, educators, parents, and communities will find them fascinating and useful, because we all need to be historically literate, so we can help students (and ourselves) make sense of the present.
Teach the Truth
Pledge to take action that will help ensure our schools teach the truth and our public schools meet the needs of all students.
The 1619 Project
The 1619 Project is an initiative by The New York Times Magazine that aims to reframe the country’s history by highlighting narratives about slavery and the contributions of Black Americans.
Know Your Rights
What You Should Know About State Measures Restricting Certain Instruction on Racism and Sexism
Black Lives Matter at School resources for educators, including books, videos, K-12 lesson plans and a curriculum resource guide.