Continuing the Dialogue: Civil Rights and Education Reform

It feels as though nearly everyone I know has their eyes and ears on what’s happening in Ferguson, in Cleveland, in New York and in many more cities across the country. And I appreciate it—it’s how I know that I have friends and family who are passionate and intelligent. Which is why I was glad to see that TNTP had posted a blog item yesterday discussing these very issues—I want to know that my colleagues are just as invested in this as I am. Layla Avila, an executive vice president at TNTP, writes:
We cannot stand by and say nothing. I’ll start by saying enough is enough. We come to our work at TNTP with the belief that schools can and must be a powerful lever of change in this country. We know how much of a difference schools can make in the lives of children, especially children living in poverty. I know it because I’ve lived it personally, growing up as the child of immigrants in California. That’s why we do what we do. But as we’ve been reminded all too frequently these days, improving schools alone is not enough. Those of us working for better schools aren’t doing so as an end in itself. We are not naïve enough to think that a better education alone for kids of color is going to bring equity and justice.
And she concludes by saying,
These may not be “education issues” per se, but for all of us who work to build a more just, more equal nation, they are our issues.
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Valentina Payne
Valentina Payne joined Bellwether Education Partners in 2021 as chief of staff to Andy Rotherham on the External Relations team. Prior to Bellwether, she spent seven years at brightbeam, where she most recently served as its chief growth officer, overseeing operations, finance, fundraising, and strategic growth of the organization.

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