Race isn’t on the syllabus in most classrooms. Should it be?


Most teachers avoid discussing race in class, and the recent controversy in Cobb County over a simulation of the Underground Railroad in an elementary school classroom suggests the topic is complex and requires sensitivity.

But two private school teachers in metro Atlanta believe race discussions have a place in the classroom.

Martha Caldwell and Oman Frame teach at the Paideia School in Atlanta and are co-founders of iChange Collaborative, where they train teachers and students in inclusion education, cultural competency, social emotional learning, and ethical leadership. They are co-authors of “Let’s Get Real: Exploring Race, Class, and Gender Identities in the Classroom.”

Today in the AJC Get Schooled blog, they write, “Race is one of the first things we notice when we meet a person. And while race is only one component of identity, it often drives conversations about individuality and diversity. Everyone in the nation is talking about race outside of school, from the Olympics to Milwaukee to Snapchat. So why aren’t we talking about it in the classroom? If we want students to think critically about solving persistent social problems related to race, we have to help them examine the issue and investigate its roots.”

To read more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Gwinnett says students’ digital learning days were a success
Gwinnett says students’ digital learning days were a success

With snow and ice keeping Gwinnett County students out of school for two full days last week and causing a delayed start on Friday, the school system put a new program into action. With digital learning days, students can go online to find assignments and communicate remotely with questions and requests for help. The system is set up so kids can use...
Feds approve Georgia’s “ESSA” plan for schools
Feds approve Georgia’s “ESSA” plan for schools

Gov. Nathan Deal wouldn’t sign it, but U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has approved Georgia’s plan to comply with the new federal education law. The U.S. Department of Education announced the approval of Georgia’s plan and the plans of five other states -- Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Montana and New Hampshire-- in a bulletin...
APS disciplined 2 school leaders over testing violation
APS disciplined 2 school leaders over testing violation

Two Atlanta elementary school administrators received suspensions after a district investigation found testing irregularities that a principal failed to document and report “in a timely manner.” In September, the Atlanta Public Schools’ Office of Internal Compliance began looking into an anonymous complaint made on the district&rsquo...
State auditors find costs rising for Georgia’s dual enrollment program
State auditors find costs rising for Georgia’s dual enrollment program

Georgia higher education leaders need to better define the mission and monitor the operations of the increasingly popular, and expensive, program that allows students to take college courses while still in high school, a new state review has found. State general fund spending for the dual enrollment program — the state pays for the high schoolers&rsquo...
Every Student Succeeds Act: Betsy DeVos approves Georgia’s blueprint for school improvement
Every Student Succeeds Act: Betsy DeVos approves Georgia’s blueprint for school improvement

Based on Betsy DeVos’ repeated comments that the federal government ought to let states set their own course, I did not expect her U.S. Department of Education to veto Georgia’s education blueprint for raising achievement and improving schools, as required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. And it did...
More Stories