Open Letter to Students, Families, Staff, and School Communities
Mastery Schools is a public institution, and as such we are part of this moment in our nation’s
history, when every person, and every institution, must examine how we contribute to, and push
to eliminate, white supremacy and systemic racism. It is time for white people and institutions of
power to end the silence. Enough is enough.
Mastery principals, led by our Black principals, took this moment to push our CEO, leadership
team, and board chairs, to examine the ways in which Mastery reflects the systemic racism of
our society. As a result, we are committed to move this work forward: in order to become a
model urban school district, Mastery must also be a model anti-racist school district. Schools are
the anchors and perpetuators of our culture – we must push back against the way racism is
embedded in our systems or we will fail to make our society more just and more free.
This morning, our CEO shared a detailed set of commitments with our principals that will propel
Mastery to action, prioritizing and centering the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”).
Collectively, we will prioritize an urgent need to ensure that we open schools in the fall in a
thoughtful, trauma-informed way. We will move heaven and earth to ensure that this pandemic
does not create another systemic barrier for our students’ academic growth.
The senior leadership team and principals will be working together to add a new Mastery Value
– the first new value in 19 years – to ensure our commitment to DEI is infused into the fabric and
culture of the organization. We will be widening the lens with which we evaluate our schools and
classrooms and management. We will analyze disparities in class removals, staff retention, and
Special Education identification, as well as our traditional measurements of students’ academic
growth. We are creating a Chief-level position to ensure the multifaceted work of Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion is infused in all elements of our work. Every member of our organization
will be held accountable to ensure our classrooms are places where our students are affirmed
and held to the highest expectations.
We are excited and hopeful for the future. We ask that you join us in this journey with a steadfast
commitment and a full and open heart. 14,000 students and their families are counting on us.
And we will deliver.
Scott Gordon, CEO
Mastery Schools Principals of Philadelphia
Mastery Schools Principals of Camden
Mastery Schools Regional Schools Officers
Mastery Schools Chiefs
Mastery Schools Deputy Chiefs
Bob Victor, Board Chair of Mastery Philadelphia
Jim Sheward, Board Chair of Mastery Camden