This summer we spent time together in lament – honoring our grief over the unimaginable harm students have endured. We also told the truth about gun violence and began to name what it will take to end it for the sake of our children. To these important practices of lament and truth-telling, we want to add dreaming. As we take seriously the harm being done and do what we must do to address it, we also want to actively dream of a better world for and with our children.
This year at TEP we’re dreaming of learning environments that are safe and nurturing. Through data-driven research, we’ve translated those desires into actionable policy priorities that enable us to do the work of making that dream a reality. Public schools can become spaces where every student thrives. It is only when we tend to the needs of the most harmed and address the ways in which our current system is crushing the most vulnerable students, that every student will be empowered with the tools and resources they need for effective learning and adequate nurture.
With this in mind, our overarching policy priority is Providing Safe Schools for Black and Brown students, and students experiencing poverty and other forms of marginalization. Together, we can pursue this priority by advocating for policies that –
- invest in the mental and emotional well-being of students,
- ensure adequate supplies, facilities, and resources for equitable learning,
- affirm the profession of teaching and the dignity of teachers, and
- center the joy of Black and Brown children
Over the next couple of months, we will talk about safe schools, flesh out these policy priorities based on the current needs of students, and take direct action to make our dreams become reality. Until then, let us know what your wishes look like for safe schools for every child. We’d love to hear from you!