Response to Waterbury Public School’s Minority Teacher Recruitment Mid-Year Report

The Board of Education attempted to put on a workshop last Thursday, February 25, 2016. What we witnessed was a public relations-marketing event, a pep rally. It was unprofessional, as well as a petty display of power.

It’s shameful that this school district would use an important tool like a Board of Education Workshop to further complicate and cloud educational dilemmas affecting student’s experiences. It shows us that the Waterbury Public Schools and the Board of Education are easily thrown off track. Neither has the laser-like focus required to take appropriate actions to reform the school district. RACCE was the target of scapegoating through traditional “Dirty-Water” politics. As co-founders of RACCE we would like to clarify our mission, strategy, and vision for achieving educational justice for students and families.

RACCE’s mission is to challenge systems of oppression by advocating for culturally competent educational practices.

RACCE will not pander to individuals or be forced to make people feel comfortable at the expense of an equal education for minority children.

RACCE is not controlled or paid by any system, corporation, political party, or government entity.

RACCE will not be distracted by municipal political dynamics.

RACCE does not report to any person of power in the school district.

RACCE is simply an advocacy group that has 3 members who are well educated, and understand the disparities that persist throughout our country also persist in Waterbury.

RACCE doesn’t own or rent an office. We meet as civil rights activists; in church basements, colleagues’ living rooms, and places that support discourse and planning that is strategic.

RACCE does not sell memberships, sell any products, or have fundraisers.

RACCE is an independent grassroots organization. We have the freedom to pursue issues that are left unchallenged in the status quo, and we will exercise this freedom to call out disparities that our community leaders have to tip-toed around.

RACCE will not be intimidated by verbal attacks by political figures, school district employees or other community organizations.

RACCE will not shuck, jive, or try to please the system.


In our naïveté, RACCE believed that the district would be a willing partner in achieving educational equity. We believe the spirit of cooperation we have been told exists, actually doesn’t.

RACCE is knowledgeable of research and evidenced based practices that have been explored by other districts to address educational disparities that persist in Waterbury.

RACCE has made recommendations and offered to partner with the district. Especially pertaining to suspensions and arrest rates of minority females.

RACCE will continue to push for MTRR efforts that directly, and in the short term result in more minority teachers in the classroom, we will continue to point out racial disparities in expulsions, arrests, and suspensions, and all other educational practices that disparately impact students of color.

RACCE will continue to strengthen bonds with state legislators and advocacy groups.

RACCE will not allow any system, false advocates, or showboating put a wedge between us and other community groups that are serious about change.

RACCE will continue to highlight the juxtaposition of celebrating of one Black teacher while Black and Hispanic students are underserved, underrepresented and fundamentally mistreated. We wont settle for symbolism.

RACCE will not be “unplugged,” discredited, or silenced.

Taking a Critical Reconstructive Approach,

RACCE

Comments

  1. Keré Y. Boyd says:

    I am confused? Shouldn’t the Minority Teacher Recruitment Team and RACCE be working together? History has taught us that effective change only comes when we are unified and come together for a common goal. Although our paths/approaches to the goal may differ does that make one more ineffective than the other? If they’re working on the inside and you’re working on the outside, Waterbury would be well covered.
    The politics of Waterbury has nothing to do with one black teacher being celebrated as a National Teacher Finalist and I don’t think it is at the expense of the students. If anything it brings to light the issues of Waterbury and it’s lack of diversity within Education (and she should be celebrated).

    This post seems like RACCE is on the defense and I am not sure why? I, personally don’t need to know why however you may want to ask yourself that question.
    But it seems from what I’m reading it’s 5 people working on a minority agenda but not working together?

    I say all this to say, Work together for the greater good… The Future of Waterbury!

    Like

    • Appreciated your thoughtful post. Please read our press release titled “RACCE’s Taskforce Work Slowed by Misrepresentations and Willful Neglect of Waterbury Public Schools” by going to this link: https://racce.net/2016/01/20/racces-taskforce-work-slowed-by-misrepresentations-and-willful-neglect-of-waterbury-public-schools/ and you can gain more understanding of this dilemma. We can’t cooperate with something that doesn’t exist.

      Like

      • Keré Y. Boyd says:

        So is the contention that the plan is not finished? The first was a planning grant and not an implementation grant, correct? The second grant is the part where they begin to form committees, etc. and work a LIVE plan for implementation.
        I am still confused as to why it seems defensive. I know there are racial issues however, is the minority committee working together to assist in solving the problems instead of bashing one another over who said what? That seems useless.
        Find common ground AND a place at the planning table. Stop bashing and deliberately attacking and work to solve the issues. It seems small and petty because their work does not stop your work and your work doesn’t stop their work. WORK TOGETHER for the GREATER GOOD!
        I just think it’s sad that public shaming is a form of communication and resolve between minorities. I thought you all were on the same team, fighting toward the same goal!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting points. Same questions we have been asking them!

        Like

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