We are Families for Real Equity in Education
we want every child to have access to the resources they need to reach their fullest potential
Rebuilding an educational system that is equitable for all children – regardless of race, faith, gender, and class.
What We want
— Equitable Access
We demand that every child has equal access to a high-quality, non-discriminatory education in NYC. We ask that our educational system ensure every student has the support they need to be successful.
As a very simple example of inequitable access to education in our city, during the covid-19 pandemic, 77,000 students did not have access to the Internet as of October of 2020; and 111,000 children live in NYC’s homeless shelters, where DOE-issued devices often have spotty service. With middle and high schools shuttered in November, and 700,000 students in remote learning, this digital divide is not acceptable for a city as wealthy as NYC.
Successful inclusive education happens primarily through accepting, understanding, and attending to student differences and diversity, which can include physical, cognitive, academic, social, and emotional aspects. Our teachers should receive training on what an inclusive education looks like, which will address learning and background differences in all of our students.
We have heard from many Black and brown children who feel more relaxed during remote learning at home; they felt the burden of implicit biases and oftentimes institutionalized racism within their school buildings. Our children should not have to find reprieve from systemic wide discrimination only when schools are closed due to a global pandemic.
— Cultural Awareness
Our educational system should have access to the cultural capital that draws on and celebrates the racial, ethnic, linguistic, gender, sexual orientation and ability differences as assets for teaching. New York State public schools should offer a variety of classes, rigorous curricula such as the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education, projects, books and resources that are grounded in rich diversity. Every child should have access to anti-racism and anti-bias education.
When our children learn in a mutually accepting atmosphere of their own and other’s culture, that’s when they will become civically minded citizens who are able to embrace people who are not like them.
We demand the end of public school racial segregation in New York City. Integration has a positive effect on almost every aspect of schooling that matters, and segregation the inverse. Both BIPOC and white students are disadvantaged by attending racially isolated schools – white (and often Asian American) students are not exposed to the comfort of being around diversity that is a pertinent part of American life today, and BIPOC students tend to suffer academically.
— Fulfill Students' Potential
School funding should be equitable and allow for access to resources that are necessary to effectively serve all students. All students should have access to high quality content that fits their educational needs. All students will have highly qualified teachers who are well prepared to be culturally aware and relatable to students as per their backgrounds in order to help students achieve their highest potential.
— Empathy in Education
We call for a school system that values empathy in its teachers who can model this most important socio-emotional factor to their students. Students with high levels of empathy display more classroom engagement, higher academic achievement, and better communication skills.
As well, in a rapidly changing world such as ours, empathy itself is the very cornerstone to building emotional resilience for all future generations to come.
A World Where Black Boys And Girls Are Celebrated
At 3, Blake was the only black boy in his entire school. One day, he came home and told his mom: “Mum, I cannot raise my hand in class anymore, because I get in trouble.” Little Blake said his teacher asked him to stop raising his hand to give answers, but when he didn’t, he got a time-out.
When his mom, Dr Starita Ansari, went to school the next day, Blake’s teacher said,”He gets all the answers correct, and that is not good for the self-esteem of the other children.”
Dr Ansari knew her work is cut out for her to work toward a school system that celebrates, rather than discriminates, children and their contributions equally.-Starita Ansari, PhD, District 2 Mother
Make Access To Opportunity Equal For ALL Students
Perhaps the most infuriating argument I’ve heard is “Black and Latinx students just don’t work as hard as their White and Asian counterparts.”
My immediate reaction is always “So, are you suggesting that I don’t work hard?”
The truth is that us Black and Latinx students are working hard. However, in this system, hard-work is not the sole factor to success. At least not when access to opportunity is unequal, underprepared educators are taking on the toughest jobs, and resources are scant in our schools.-Ayana Smith, Teens Take Charge