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Education After COVID-19 Cannot Be Reimagined Without A Racial Justice Plan

Colin Seale

“Practically speaking, prioritizing a racial justice component as part of the plan for returning to school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is not going to undo centuries of oppression. Still, school systems can make tremendous strides toward racial justice by rejecting a mythical colorblind approach in favor of an approach that is intentionally color-kind. They should recognize the disparate impact of school closures on student subgroups who faced tremendous equity and access issues prior to the pandemic and ensure that whatever plans they are drawing up address this reality. Before they think about reimagining the way students engage in school, systems leaders should overcome the issues of racial justice that lead many educators to act as if they can work around low income parents of color instead of working with and through them. Returning to school with racial justice as a key aspect of a new “normal” does not just mean that leaders should hold more diversity workshops or implicit bias training. It also means that educators must answer the question of how they are explicitly biased and learn how to change this.”