Blog: Anti-Racism at Mastery, Centered on Student Experience and Outcomes.
By Saliyah Cruz
Deputy Chief of Student Development
At Mastery, students and families are at the center of everything we do. Our students are our why. It is our mission to prepare young people with the academic and personal skills they need for life. We take inspiration from the discussions sparked since the murder of George Floyd, and endeavor to lift the organization to a higher and more effective place for our students as well as our staff. We know that a healthy inclusive organizational culture enables adults to nurture a healthy school and classroom environment and believe we have an opportunity to significantly boost this work.
Black Lives Matter. Black Education Matters.
Questions We’re Asking Ourselves
In returning to school in the midst of a global pandemic, there is an urgent need to avoid creating additional systemic barrier to our students learning. Instead, we’ll acknowledge the trauma that has occurred, the safety concerns that exist, and the strength of our students and families. As a large urban school district serving 14,000 students, we also need to design what a trauma-informed school district looks like at scale. How do we need to allocate our resources to best serve our students’ collective needs? How do we accelerate the achievement of our students with Individualized Education Plans? How do we integrate the principles of culturally responsive teaching from Zaretta Hammond into our instructional standards, teacher PD, and classroom evaluations? How do we redesign our high schools to support the range of paths our students want to pursue?
We’re Committed: Five Key Outcomes
- Instructional effectiveness with high expectations, affirmation, and support in meeting those expectations in every single Mastery classroom.
- Authentic engagement with parents as partners in the education of every child.
- Academic growth (as measured by NWEA MAP Exam) above the 50th percentile for students in our Equity Schools and students with IEPs
- Consistency in IEP Identification Rates regardless of race or income
- High school redesign that allows for students to successfully pursue the post-secondary path of their choosing
Meeting these goals will require an ongoing, iterative process. I look forward to sharing our progress and design work and also invite your input and feedback.
“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed”