Spokane school board to discuss creating an ‘anti-racist’ environment

SPOKANE, Wash – As controversy swirls nationwide over teaching culturally sensitive issues in public schools, the Spokane Public School Board will discuss a plan on Wednesday to continue this work in local schools.

The issue has been a priority for the board, identified as “culturally appropriate curriculum and training”.

The plan, outlined in a PowerPoint presentation for the school board, includes plans for its implementation and steps to see how it works.

For elementary schools, the plan includes “project-based learning support” in humanities education. He also suggests working with an organization called TNTP on a curriculum audit.

The TNTP website says it is an organization whose “mission is to end the injustice of inequality in education by providing excellent teachers to students who need them most and by advancing policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom ”.

In secondary schools, professional development includes “Teaching hard history: including sharing lessons of culturally appropriate lesson plans and strategies as well as raising awareness of culturally sensitive topics encountered in teaching history.” .

The plan also includes book studies for the staff, in particular the book Doris Kearns Goodwin Leadership in times of turbulence, which explains how four US presidents have ruled in times of crisis; Stamp, which is a book for young adults on anti-racism; Teach what really happened a book on questioning what textbooks traditionally taught about history; and The writing revolution.

High schools would also get an audit of the TNTP curriculum and partner with the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene tribes for additional lessons.

You can see the full presentation at link in the school board agenda.

The school board will not take any action on these measures at Wednesday’s meeting. The purpose of the presentation is to update the board of directors on the progress.

Critics from schools across the country have pointed to the teaching of critical race theory, which is not specifically taught in any K-12 district. Candidates for school boards in the area ran on the idea of ​​banning it in local schools.

Critical race theory, however, is not the same as a culturally appropriate curriculum. Critical breed theory is a complex examination of the legal system that has existed in the United States for over 40 years.

It is usually taught in graduate schools and law courses.

READ: Listening sessions give families the chance to discuss racial equity in Spokane schools