The state of Connecticut and the nation as a whole are currently confronted by what is being called the civil rights crisis of our time: the loss of our students of color to the racial predictability of the achievement gaps. But students of color in Connecticut are not failing; our educational system is failing them.
For centuries, we have avoided discussing institutionalized racism and its detrimental effects on our students of color as well as their White peers. Such avoidance is mainly due to the uncomfortable feelings and reactions brought about by racial discourse.Read More
SERC began to focus on racial equity in 2003, after No Child Left Behind subgroup data began to reveal predictable racial disparities among and between subgroups. As we studied institutionalized racism, we understood that deconstructing systemic inequities would require us to engage in both personal and professional-level work and both internal and external professional development.
Thus, we began a journey of self-discovery and self-evaluation alongside critical thinkers from the field of social justice, equity, and diversity; we were guided, supported, and challenged by Glenn Singleton, Calvin Terrell, Gary Howard, Pedro Noguera, Dr. Ken Hardy, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, Dr. Sonia Nieto, Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, and others. During this time, we learned more about the history of racism in the United States and the impact of institutionalized racism and its devastating effects on our students and their families.Read More
We believe that what is missing from the discourse about Connecticut's achievement gaps is serious and deep conversation about the role that race and culture and, more specifically, institutionalized racism play in the creation, predictability, and perpetuation of such gaps.
We contend that such conversations could allow for transformational change: change that results from the continual questioning and challenging of beliefs, assumptions, patterns, habits, and paradigms. As one of the most racially and economically segregated states in our nation, Connecticut cannot afford to ignore or discount the impact of race and institutionalized racism on our schools, instructional practices, and student performance. In fact, our state’s history and data suggest that ignoring institutionalized racism may work only to perpetuate the problem.Read More