June 30, 2023

The Future of Racial Equity in Education

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This morning, the United States Supreme Court released a ruling that effectively ends the 40-year precedent of affirmative action. While the immediate impact of this ruling will be felt by our nation’s higher education institutions, the long-term, negative implications of this ruling will be felt in our K-12 classrooms – by our teachers, students, and communities. I want to assure you that at Educators for Excellence, we are unwavering in our longstanding commitment to anti-racism and our support for policies that seek to end historical injustices in our country, and we will continue to reflect this in our advocacy work going forward within the limits of the law despite this ruling.

As educators, we work daily to understand our students and their learning strengths and needs. Their race, background, and lived experiences all play a critical role in their academic experiences and can impact a student’s access to opportunities.

“As I prepare for a new school year, I have to understand and acknowledge that my students will be coming into my classroom with their own unique stories and experiences. If I come into my classroom everyday and do not understand my students’ race, backgrounds, and lived experiences, I am not only doing them a disservice when it comes to their learning journey, but I cannot be an effective educator.”
-Shirley Jones-Luke, high school English teacher, Boston, MA

As we strive to support every student to thrive in their lives, diversity, in its many forms, but especially racial diversity, in classrooms, in teachers, in our workplaces, and in our communities is critical. This Supreme Court ruling not only undermines a decades-long commitment to equity, but it threatens critical aspects of what we know to be true and value as educators to support our students truly.

The Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the ability to use race as a criteria in the higher education admissions process will have a widespread impact on the education system and our students. This decision may also put critical efforts around teacher diversity at risk and is likely to cause a stark decline in students of color in our nation’s postsecondary colleges and universities. We know that teacher diversity improves outcomes for all students, and recruiting and retaining a diverse teacher workforce is a key component of students’ success. Policies that ignore teacher diversity and student needs threaten that success and the progress we’ve made; examining district and state hiring and layoff policies to consider factors beyond seniority is one crucial example of this.

At E4E, we will continue to advocate for district and state policies that prioritize teacher diversity – across multiple lines of difference – advocating for change to layoff policies, working to promote anti-racist policies within teacher unions, and constantly analyzing disaggregated data to ensure our work internally and externally is attending to disparate impact. We will also continue to let you know of resources and opportunities to learn about the implications of this ruling and promote equity and teacher diversity.


Write to your legislator and protect policies that promote teacher diversity.

Whatever we do, we cannot take a colorblind approach to our work. Acknowledging and honoring race and the impact that it has on our students, teachers, and education system is, and will continue to be, a priority in this broader mission of educational equity. We look forward to continuing to partner with you in this work and towards a more equitable and just education system.