There is just way too much pearl clutching going on in District 150 these days. As I have previously posted, it is my belief that many District 150 teachers have some problems understanding "black culture" and are sorely in need of racial sensitivity training.
It saddens me that in 2010 the word diversity is still relevant in Peoria. However, racial sensitivity training could be instrumental in closing the achievement gap between students of different races.
It is unfortunate that the discrimination lawsuit that the teachers have brought against District 150 did not request racial sensitivity training as part of their settlement. The lawsuit indicates that such training is needed. When Benassi handled the Mitsubishi lawsuit, on going racial sensitivity training was a part of the settlement. I am curuious as to why training was not requested in this instance?
Many teachers come from communities where there is very little diversity or interaction with people of different backgrounds. I have seen some student teachers who appear to be left speechless, as if they have never spoken with a black parent before. Their only conversation is for you to question them, at which time, you find out they are from some little town called Avon or whatever.
The Board of Education can and should be proactive in this matter. They don't have to wait until racial sensitivity training is demanded in a lawsuit - they could and should institute such training within District 150 NOW. We all know we need it.
Critical Issue - Educating Teachers for Diversity
As the student population in American schools becomes increasingly diverse, educators must respond with school reform efforts that meet the needs of all students. They must develop culturally sensitive curricula that integrate multicultural viewpoints and histories, apply instructional strategies that encourage all students to achieve, and review school and district policies related to educational equity. Teacher education programs in particular are responsible for preparing future teachers to promote meaningful, engaged learning for all students, regardless of their race, gender, ethnic heritage, or cultural background.
Read the entire article here.