Education Equity Summer Institute #EdEquityVA


Hello I’m James Lane, State Superintendent
at the Virginia Department of Education. Hi, my name is Rodney Robinson, I’m the 2019
National Teacher of the Year. I’m State Senator Jennifer McClellan. Hi, I’m Virginia Secretary of Education Atif
Qarni. I’m Congressman Bobby Scott. I’m Leah Walker, the Director for Equity and
Community Engagement at the Virginia Department of Education and we believe that Virginia
is for ALL learners. [Bobby Scott] It’s a pleasure to be back at this year’s
Education Equity Summer Institute. In these days, it is doubtful that any child
may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if denied the opportunity of an education. [Tiyale Hayes] Thank you guys so much for the work that you’re doing to really ultimately change people’s lives. I think it’s important to have an event like
this to bring together different people across the state that are really attacking this equity
imbalance. I love how the organization has brought together
a mix of industries and professions and people with different disciplines to really think
about this very systemic problem and how we chip away at it. [Dr. James Lane] We didn’t just want to focus on
school improvement for those schools that were formerly denied accreditation, we wanted to think about how we could lift
the quality of all schools, but how the VDOE could become a coach and not just a monitor. Educators, policy makers, legislators, to
have conversations in a safe space about how can we make sure we’re really providing an
equitable education for every child no matter what their background. [Atif Qarni] We make not be able to address
the inequities across the world, but we do have the ability to impact our classrooms,
local communities, and our Commonwealth. [Diane Atkinson] The Board of Education’s
vision is to create an excellent statewide system of public education in cooperation
with our partners that drive strength from diversity and that ensures equity of opportunity
for each student. [Leah Walker] The biggest missing piece of
this conversation has been student voice and as leaders of systems of education, we cannot
do that in isolation of understanding what our kids are actually experiencing in our
classrooms every single day. [Student] The culture of public education everybody just feels
like you gotta teach it, you just keep your thoughts to yourself, but I had a few teachers
that were interested in at least hearing somebody else’s perspective. [Dr. Andrew Daire] This is such a wonderful space to where
we can have those important, challenging, and necessary conversations on ensuring that
all of our school children have access to a high quality education. [Tominka PIckett LeGrande] I spent my entire career in higher education in North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, ensuring that public
colleges and universities deliver on their promise to help students succeed in ways that
transform their lives and achieve their dreams. [Dr. Cristobal Rodriguez] I think the powerful aspect here is as educators, we should be involved in policy conversations. We need to be involved in the policy conversations. You all are here in the capital, you should
be having conversations with your elected officials at all levels. [Rodney Robinson] You can’t teach children
of color if you do not love children of color. These conversations aren’t being had around
the nation and I’m happy that Virginia is taking the torch and running with it and we’re going
to have this conference very year. This is the second annual conference I think. You know we’re gonna have it every year and
hopefully we can start having some national conferences on equity cause these important
converstaions that need to be had.

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