Source(s) of the Week: Michelle Asha Cooper and Patricia Gándara

We’re still with the Education Team this week with Elissa Nadworny guest editing, and she’s handpicked some pretty great and versatile sources!

Michelle Asha Cooper

“However, the more systemic instances of racism that permeate higher education are rarely acknowledged. Our failure, for example, to really talk about race manifests in a growing trend among higher education professionals and advocates, like myself, to use the more mainstream term of “equity.” While race is often implicit in these conversations, “equity” is quickly becoming a catchall phrase that could easily, once again, marginalize the issue of race.

Equity does prompt attention to a range of marginalized populations based on markers such as socioeconomic status, gender, etc. – important lenses for addressing discrimination – but discrete attention to race is often lost in the process. I also recognize that the term equity is more palatable; after all, initiating a conversation by talking about race is often a nonstarter. But just because we are uncomfortable with the word, or more specifically, uncomfortable with our country’s racial past and its lingering effects, does not mean that the blemish is not there. To the contrary, our discomfort allows these wounds to deepen.”

Michelle Asha Cooper, in an essay for Inside Higher Ed, “Ending Racism Is Still a Civil Rights Issue”

Patricia Gandara

“The straw that breaks the camel’s back is when economically this really comes home to folks in these states that are on the edge of decline right now as a result of failing to educate this population. So you look at California and Texas—two states in which half or more of their K-12 population is Latino. And there have been studies done that look at what the consequences of that are economically for the state… Well, California right now can’t close its budget gaps. That’s not all because of Latino kids. But it’s a piece of it. We’re not generating enough income because we’re not generating the kind of educational product that we need. So my hope is that people begin to connect the dots and realize this is affecting each of us because the state is not going to be able to sustain itself.”

Patricia Gándara, discussing the Latino achievement gap in an interview with the Hechinger Report

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