Today Lars discussed the "cultural competency" letter that was signed by several school superintendents. Here are the online files dealing with this issue:
CULTURAL COMPETENCY SUMMIT PROCEEDINGS (.PDF)
Cultural competence, Oregon-style (Dave Mowry's "In My Opinion" piece)
Cultural competency valued (Letter to the editor from Superintendents)
Excerpt from letter:
Social justice is promoted, not by advocacy, but by enterprise, as we work to meet this challenge. It's that simple.
Excerpt from Summit Proceedings: (page 7)
Rather, cultural competence entails actively challenging the status quo and advocating for equity and social justice. For example, one table noted the need to incorporate institutionalized
notions of power, privilege, and oppression into the definition.
Excerpt from Summit Proceedings: (page 9)
Advocates for social justice
Excerpt from Summit Proceedings: (page 54)
Encouraging/nurturing capacity to advocate social justice
Our school superintendents are either stupid, or they think that we are stupid. It's that simple.
Cultural Competency makes assumptions about race, ethnicity, income levels, etc. It's that simple.
The Summit pulled together an ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse group of education
leaders from multiple segments of the Oregon education system. 2 Given that the state of Oregon is 86% white, it was striking that 50% of the participants were people of color.
What is "striking" is that these people can't look at a room full of people without noting who has what skin color.
Exhibits awareness of key concepts: privilege, affirmative action, assimilation vs.
pluralism, color blindness vs. color awareness, meritocracy, etc.
mer·i·toc·ra·cy - A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.
Obviously that is the WORST system possible. How will a someone who doesn't speak English, does drugs, is lazy, and acts like a perpetual victim be able to advance if it is based on merit?
I work at a school that has very little diversity. To be in a room filled with such amazing
people who are and have accomplished so much was just empowering. I was amazed that
with the diversity we had in our group our thoughts and desires were the same. (Teacher)
So according to someone who is responsible for teaching our children, the definition of "diversity" is when everyone's "thoughts and desires [are] the same." Scary.
Many people spoke of the power of simply sitting in a room with 100 colleagues who shared their passion and commitment to creating an educator workforce that more effectively meets the needs of all students, especially students of color, low income students and second language learners.
They like everyone equally but they especially like students of color, low income, and ELL.
One of the most effective ways to ensure a climate of welcoming support for students and
families is to increase the number of staff who share their racial and cultural background and
who can speak their language.
I think that they are saying that white kids will be taught by white teachers, Christian kids will be taught by Christians, conservatives by conservatives, and so on. No? This just applies to people of color and non-Americans? A white kids only hope to be included is if he is gay or poor? What about the Christians? I see, not "culturally competent" and therefore banned.
Hillsboro Superintendent Lyon
(If you no speaka the English then you can contact Hillsboro School District's "Hispanic Outreach" or "Migrant Education" HERE)
State Superintendent Castillo
Portland Superintendent Phillips
Beaverton Superintendent Colonna