RESTON, VA—The killing of Breonna Taylor a year ago on March 13, 2020, drew light to systemic racism across the country, prompting new examination of inequities in institutions like K–12 schools. The board of directors for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), following an open call to members for public input, recently adopted two new position statements that further address the critical need for creating learning environments that are more inclusive and equitable for every student. Racial Justice and Educational Equity supports school leaders as they strive to address systemic racism and offers policy recommendations to help educators deliberately employ anti-racist practices to dismantle those systems that create barriers and perpetuate race-based inequities for students of color. Digital Equity highlights the importance of providing access to and understanding of how to properly use technology to open doors to each student locked out of learning and, in turn, make learning more inclusive.
“For nearly 30 years, U.S. schools have reported persistent racial gaps in graduation rates, math and reading scores, postsecondary education, as well as in other academic achievement measures,” said Ronn Nozoe, CEO of NASSP. “School leaders want to close this opportunity gap and build a strong school culture that guarantees students are treated justly and receive the individualized, high-quality education they deserve. Our goal with these positions is to provide school leaders the resources to create learning environments that will prevent racial and socioeconomic injustice and increase educational equity for all students.”
Both position statements include guiding principles and recommendations to help federal and state policymakers, district leaders, and school leaders implement changes that will provide equitable learning opportunities for all students.
The 2020 killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, have prompted a national racial reckoning, and policymakers have been called to examine issues of racial justice in institutions that include K–12 schools. While many school leaders have made great strides to ensure educational equity for each student, the education system has perpetuated systemic racism for decades through overt aggressive racism and microaggressions as well as through racist policies and practices. The NASSP position statement highlights the important role school leaders play in addressing systemic racism and offers policy recommendations to help educators deliberately employ anti-racist practices as they work to dismantle those systems that create barriers and perpetuate race-based inequities for students of color.
Education has seen an increase in the use of a variety of technologies to help promote access, new learning opportunities, and new teaching styles for educators and students. However, the increased use of technology has led to new challenges as well, most notably the inability of some student groups to access or most effectively use digital tools and resources to accelerate their learning. Commonly referred to as the digital divide, many groups of students are often at a disadvantage compared to their peers due to their lack of digital equipment or reliable broadband access. The NASSP position statement highlights the importance of providing access to and understanding of how to properly use technology to open doors to each student locked out of learning and, in turn, make learning more inclusive.
The NASSP Board of Directors has a long-standing record of adopting bold positions that promote student equity and help each student achieve their greatest potential. These include position statements on culturally responsive schools, educator diversity, poverty and its impact on students, school resource officers and law enforcement in schools, school discipline, promoting rigorous courses for all students, and the achievement gap.
For more information, and to view all of NASSP’s position statements, please visit:www.nassp.org/position-statements.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of middle level and high school principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.