Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2020 Vision is Our Collective Responsibility

The 2020 Vision for Berkeley's Children and Youth is a partnership between key organizations and community members to close the race-based predictability in student achievement by the graduating class of 2020 (this year's current 5th graders).

I'll be writing a series of posts on the 2020 Vision, the key players and the progress that's been made. Let's start by taking a look at a public comment written by Santiago Casal and Michael Miller, members of United in Action and Parents of Children of African Descent, in the Berkeley Daily Planet from July 3, 2008, when the 2020 Vision was launched.

Here is a segment that particularly resonated with me. While this was written over 4 years ago, it still rings true today and helps to ground us in why the 2020 Vision is so critical and what role we can ALL play in helping to achieve it:
(emphasis added)

"The history of the concept of an “achievement gap” is one that places blame at the student’s and family’s feet. One belief is that there is something the student isn’t doing or a level of support the family is not providing that creates this problem.
"We are all part of the problem! We are all culpable! As we peel back this onion, it is important to reflect on what each of us is doing, as individuals or part of organizations or part of a culture that creates the conditions of disparities...
"Just as important, we are part of the solution! This is the point at which we are asked to suspend judgment and try, as best we can, to hear what is being said about the nature and history of disparities. It is not an easy conversation, but if we don’t have it, we are not doing the necessary work....As we peel these layers and unearth these issues, there will be pain, guilt, anger, shame and resentment; but there will be hope and triumph as well. Our commitment to our children will get us through these conversations. Our children and community are worthy of this journey together."

The 2020 Vision is a partnership between: City of Berkeley, Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley Alliance, UC Berkeley, Berkeley City College, United in Action, Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT), Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA), Berkeley Public Education Foundation (BPEF), and the Berkeley Community. 

Stay tuned for a series of posts on 2020 Vision. Please leave questions and comments below, on Facebook, Twitter or via email.

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