Passed at the Seattle Education Association Representative Assembly May 20, 2002
SEA Belief Statement regarding Closing the Achievement Gap:
All students have prior experiences that frame their worldview:
They are lifelong learners,
They can academically achieve at high levels when they are appropriately taught and encouraged; when resources are available that support high expectations for learning and when there is strong family and community support.
They are entitled to learn in multicultural context.
All children should have equal access to a quality education.
In order for all students to succeed, we believe:
That a fundamental shift from a euro-centric to a culturally inclusive curriculum and pedagogy is necessary and required.
That educators must be culturally competent . They must be aware of their own cultural assumptions. To that end, staff must respect individual differences in a supportive environment for risk taking among People of Color and Euro-Americans.
That the issue of Disproportionality is an adult issue that affects students.
That SEA, as an advocate organization, will support our members' efforts to make the paradigm shift in education to help close the achievement gap.
That our curriculum and pedagogy must reflect the background, economic status, value systems of every individual student. Our students will develop greater understanding of other cultures and worldviews.
That all students, parents/guardians, and educational staff require an educational environment that is free of stereotypes, prejudice and racism. All students and staff should have a physical and emotional learning environment, which fosters growth regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, religion, country of origin and economic status.
o We advocate a student assignment system process that will promote racial and ethnic diversity in all schools.
o We support a partnership between students, education personnel and parents/guardians.
o We support use of multiple measures in assessing student achievements. Assessments must be non-biased. That SEA supports use of multiple measures in assessing student achievements. (Not the WASL as the indicator of mastery. Assessment of learning requires measures that are broader and deeper than a single test.)
o We advocate the hiring and retaining of more people of color so children see racially-diverse role models that reflect the student population.
That SEA must be a full partner with the District in the design and implementation of programs and curriculum to eliminate the achievement gap.
That SEA must work to build public will to establish policy, laws and social programs to address the rising rates of poverty. SEA members recognize that since 1980 the social reforms to address poverty have been dismantled.
That Bargaining priorities should reflect our belief statement on Closing the Achievement Gap.