We at the CEEDAR Center want to reaffirm and strengthen our commitment to equity and inclusion given recent events that highlight persistent racial inequities in our society. For us, the violent and tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are a sad and painful reminder of how much work we still must do as a country and as educators to fight systemic and individual racism against Black people. We commit to listening, learning, and taking action to redress racial inequity in our lives, the services we provide, and the systems we support.
Our role is to support states and educator preparation programs in ensuring that all students, particularly those with disabilities, have an equitable opportunity to learn. For too long, schools have disproportionately suspended and expelled Black and other Students of Color and those with disabilities — often based on minor infractions that limit their learning and increase their likelihood of interacting with the criminal justice system. Compounding this issue, Students of Color are also often over-represented in special education and lack equitable access to effective teachers and leaders. We cannot ensure that all students have an equitable opportunity to be successful without addressing racial and other biases that adversely impact Students of Color and those with disabilities. We will work fervently to support policies and practices that promote a well-prepared workforce equipped to teach and lead in culturally relevant and inclusive ways.
Many of our partnering state teams have explicit goals focused on issues of equity. They are examining their data at multiple levels and across agencies to ensure that they target their efforts to meet the needs of underserved learners. We will continue to provide technical assistance that interrogates policy, informs practice, and instigates change to reverse inequities.
Below are some of CEEDAR’s contributions to advance equitable and inclusive practices. We hope that you find them useful as you work to advance an agenda of anti-racism in your own context.