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Aurora Institute

New Episode of Innovation Spotlight Episode – Racial Equity in Education Policymaking

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Fred Jones

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Design for Educational Equity, State Policy, Modernize and Diversify the Educator-Leader Workforce

Fred Jones
Dr. Felicia Smith
Danyika Leonard

Nine months ago, the murder of George Floyd galvanized the world, already in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, to reckon with our nation’s legacy of racial injustice. After the numerous statements, protests, and court hearings faded, several states began inquiries into how racism impacts public systems, including K-12 education. Two states—Minnesota and Kentucky—are working on racial equity in public systems to remedy gaps in opportunity and access. Other states have taken noticeable K-12 education measures, too, such as new efforts to diversify the educator workforce and to improve cultural pedagogy and competency. We think we are seeing a trend in education policy proposals, illuminating the power of these tragic moments to capture the moral imagination of our country and jolt it into action. In this episode, Aurora Institute Policy Director Fred Jones talked with Dr. Felicia Cumings Smith, Senior Director, US Regions at National Geographic, and Danyika Leonard, Policy Director of Education Evolving, to unpack the opportunity for more states to examine racial equity in education policy.