Education Domain

The Mission of the Education Domain

As Kansas City area educational leaders, we will unite for societal transformation, strive to abolish attitudes and practices that have blocked minorities access to opportunities to learn, teach and lead thereby eradicating racial inequalities and injustices that have long been embedded into the fabric of the Greater Kansas City community. We mourn the state of race relations and lament we have not led addressing this in education.

Covenant of Racial Health for Education

Whereas education is both a right and responsibility of all educators and their leaders to create a world that empowers the next generation of learners to exceed their greatest aspirations. Through collaborative and dynamic education, learners identify and develop their skills, talents, and interests which in turn produces new ideas and actions that positively shape their learning landscape, community, city, and world. While the education community has talked and often met, it has not made substantive progress in resolving complex issues that drive the lack of minority student educational opportunities and minority educators’ advancement.

Whereas we recognize the catastrophic impacts that redlining created across our city and communities that have directly impacted educational opportunities for black or minority students,

Whereas literacy preserves our economic vitality and ensures every individual can access all opportunities for personal fulfillment and participation in society, yet we have not adequately prioritized literacy challenges. Lack of literacy proficiency is complex and is a prime indicator of the future incarceration of black students.

Whereas students of color participate in advanced placement classes and gifted programs at comparatively low levels, relegating them to low-level jobs vs challenging careers. Miller and Endo (2005) This “undereducation” starting as early as primary school, also limited postsecondary education eligibility. Eubanks and Weaver (1999)

Whereas the low rate of academic achievement among students of color contributes to them not entering the education profession. (Boser, 2011). Brown v Board of Education mandated black students be integrated into white schools, but it failed to order black teachers also be integrated. This led to marginalizing black teachers, which then further discouraged students to pursue a career in teaching. Relatable role models for both educators and students of color will help.

Whereas both elementary and secondary students need authentic and collaborative learning experiences on the history of racial injustice that engage their hearts and minds and empowers them to be part of solving, then celebrating, equality, diversity, and inclusion within education and beyond.

Now, therefore, we declare and affirm our commitment to lead and foster racial reconciliation in our city, and by my signature I covenant to:

  • Creating equal opportunity leading with humility to celebrate the great diversity of talent in our districts, schools, and communities as we realize opportunities that create long-term change for all to succeed.
  • Refocusing resources by engaging city-wide who influence city development, planning, zoning as well as educational policies, and distribution of resources.
  • Centering on literacy with a comprehensive strategy to engage schools, colleges, businesses, groups, and individuals to join in efforts to improve literacy, preparing the whole person for success.
  • Using data to create action plans to address pinpointed needs. This planning must be done collaboratively between district/school leaders/staff and students/parents.
  • Supporting minority educators through improved recruitment and retention of teachers and administrators of color in public and private schools.
  • Educating on racial issues for both students and educators through job-embedded professional development is essential to transforming the mind, then the heart, and thus creating lasting behavioral change.
  • Partnering with other Unite KC domains to support educational needs within their eco-system, identifying curriculum and materials to help alleviate the problems in their areas that directly impact the success of students and educators in ours.

I commit to this Covenant of Reconciliation and to Do One Good Thing to make it real.

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Suggested Action Items

Pick One Good Thing and get started!

Equitable Funding and Distribution of Resources

  • Equalize funding between school districts with a majority of students of color or students living in poverty and school districts that are majority white and affluent.
  • Prioritize minority-owned vendors to view, bid on and be awarded contracts.

School Discipline to Prison Pipeline

  • Eliminate policies and practices that cause a disproportionate number of black and brown students, especially males, being assigned harsher consequences, like out of school suspension.
  • Eliminate policies and practices that are biased and counterproductive to building positive and respectful relationships with students or color.

Talented, Gifted Programs and Advanced Placement Classes

  • Create a program that specifically identifies significantly more students of color to participate in advanced placement, dual credit, and talented & gifted programs.
  • Examine the criteria, policies, and other practices to determine how students are identified to participate in advanced academic programs.

Recruitment and Retention of Teachers and Administrators of Color

  • Create a study to identify the current efforts of public-school districts to diversify their teaching force and administrator ranks. Use the report to identify areas of change and involve partners that are involved in rectifying recruitment and retention issues.
  • Adopt a school district inclusion policy that provides that recruitment/retention efforts are strategically focused on increasing the percentage of teachers and administrators of color.
  • Bring teachers’ pay to competitive market levels by revising policies and funding formulas.

Educating on Racial Issues

  • Require all 5th-grade and sophomore students to participate in The “Underground” experience. This annual production by The Culture House held at the Kauffman Center tells the history and heroics of the Underground Railroad; a story of Whites and Blacks working together for freedom, justice, and equality.
    • This includes curriculum, resources, and collaborative discussion guides that educators should use to enhance or diversify the learning experiences that occur pre, during, and post-performance.
  • Deploy basic curriculum on race and justice, including professional training on its implementation.
  • Implement professional development that teaches: structures for hosting race issues dialogues, activities focused on helping achieve racial equity and racial awareness training that inspires action.

Personal Transformation 

Curated Opportunities 

Caring for Kids

Caring for Kids vision is for all children to have hope and reach their highest potential through mobilizing community organizations in partnership with schools to inspire hope and help prepare children to impact their world. 

That is accomplished through a proven four-step process to engage the community – churches, businesses, and civic groups/nonprofits – to serve collaboratively around neighborhood schools. We work with the superintendents, district leadership, and the individual school principals to identify potential school partnership projects that best support the goals of an individual school.

Volunteer Needs

  • Serve as a School Organizational Champion with local school Caring for Kids Networks

C U in the Major Leagues

CYITML was founded by Royals General Manager Dayton Moore to support youth baseball, education, faith-based organizations and events as well as families in crisis.

How You Can Help

  • Honor a coach to be a Blue Coach with Character
  • Become a C10 Mentor

Urban Scholastic Center

Is a non-profit Christian ministry that continues to focus on holistic development of students and families in the Wyandotte County and KCK areas.  Programs include Life Enrichment, Soul Food, Beautiful Feet, Chess Club, Urban Market, Literacy Program and Culture Enrichment.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Cooking and/or serving a meal for Soul Food. Wednesdays from 4:30pm-6:00pm
  • Leading bible study during Soul Food. Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Book packing for Literacy Program. Time varies according to volunteer schedules
  • Chess Club. 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 10:30am-12:00pm
  • Event Volunteering. Generally once per quarter.

References

Boser, U. (2011, November 9).

Teacher diversity report: A New state-by-state analysis. Retrieved from Center for American Progress (https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/reports/2011/11/09/10657/teacherdiversity-matters/)

Eubanks, S. C., & Weaver, R., (1999). Excellence through Diversity: Connecting the 64 Teacher Quality and Teacher Diversity Agendas. Journal of Negro Education, 68(3),451, 59.

Miller, P. C., & Endo, H. (2005). Journey to becoming a teacher: The experiences of students of color. Multicultural Education, 13(1), 2–9.

kids at computers
Meet the Voices behind this Domain.

Education Domain Voices

Tyrone M. Bates, Jr. Ed D

Jr. Ed D Coordinator of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Shawnee Mission      School District

Dr. Jennifer Collier

Chief of Human Resources, Kansas City, KS Public Schools

Curt Johnson

Kansas City Christian School

Wes Parham

Executive Director, Urban Scholastic Center

Randy Callstrom

President, CEP Wyandotte Behavioral Health Network Church

Pam Harris

Education Specialist, DeVos Leadership Initiative

Megan Marshall

Lee’s Summit School Board

Connie Springfield-Espinoza

Administrator, Shawnee Mission School District

Yolanda Cargile

Superintendent, Center School District

Miranda Hoit

Founder, Crowd Ministries

Anthony Moore

Assistant Superintendent, Raytown School District

Murray Woodard

Program Officer, Kauffman Foundation