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Aurora Institute

Black Lives Matter

CompetencyWorks Blog

Authors: Eliot Levine

Issues: Issues in Practice, Commit to Equity


The United States is in the midst of historic crises. Tragically consistent with centuries of American history, these crises are deeply and disproportionately hurting our Black and Brown students, colleagues, friends, family members, and neighbors. Many are dying from violence, abuse, and neglect. Many are blocked from reaching their potential due to individual and institutional racism and discrimination.

The traditional education system embodies and sustains many of the inequities of our society. Racial biases, lack of cultural responsiveness, insufficient supports, inequitable school funding, and many other factors contribute to a system that discriminates against Black students with unequal treatment and unequal outcomes.

We stand with those who demand immediate change and who are protesting terrible injustices. We also support building structures that will take longer to fully realize but we believe can support lasting change. Transforming the educational system needs to be part of that lasting change. While strategies and mindsets for increasing equity are central to competency-based education, we recognize that the Aurora Institute needs to do much more to support the creation of an equitable system that enables all students to build the competencies needed to have fulfilling, prosperous, and healthy lives.

We are heartbroken about the injustices in our country and the world. We are inspired about the potential for change and want to play a role in it. We still have lots to learn, but we are deeply invested in addressing core concerns and supporting change. Working towards a culturally responsive, student-centered education system is not the only answer to equity in education, but we believe it challenges us to consider structures, culture, and pedagogy that move us closer to equity. We also need to listen to the issues that are most immediate for families and educators serving Black students. As we engage in this work, we stand with Black Lives Matter.

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Eliot Levine is the Aurora Institute’s Research Director and leads CompetencyWorks.

Follow @Eliot_Levine