Welcome

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback on our first newsletter in December. We are glad that it is proving to be a useful resource for you and your teams! Please forward it to others who might also find it of interest. Many of you said that you appreciated the Monthly Feature section, and we would like to invite you to nominate yourself or others for future editions. Do you know someone running a program that addresses issues of equity in schools? Please let us know so that we can share their success and ideas with all of our CRUE members. You can share names, ideas, and projects with us at: contact. We hope to make 2008 the best year yet for creating equity in educational opportunities and outcomes for ALL students in our schools!

 

 

Monthly Feature

We would like to introduce Sue Khair, Secondary Literacy Coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools. Sue has worked for the district for an impressive 26 years. She spent the first 24 years teaching English in high school classrooms, before moving to the district office in 2006. Sue has long had an affinity for what she calls “the differences that make us interesting”. Earning a Master’s degree in Communications, Sue studied the rhetoric of the women’s movement and lived in Amman, Jordan, for two years where she developed a deep respect for Arab culture. For 18 years she taught a semester-long elective in interpersonal communications to high school seniors. Her favorite unit was “Intercultural Communications,” a section in which students examined the impacts that race, culture, economic level, and gender may have on people’s values, behaviors, and communication patterns.

Sue currently serves as the District Facilitator for the CARE (Collaborative Action Research for Equity) Program for Cherry Creek Schools. CARE pulls together teams of teachers for action-research study. They began the CARE Program in 2006, with two high schools and the middle and elementary schools that feed into them. This year they have added the other four high schools and their feeder schools (a total of 41 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and six high schools). Each school has a CARE team made up of approximately three to eight teachers (depending on the size of the school). Each teacher chooses a “focus group” of students – approximately 5 students of color – and then designs culturally responsive lessons. The teachers observe each other and de-brief, paying special attention to student engagement and growth. Teachers document growth and reflect upon their learning.

Each school conducts four rounds of observations with the support of district facilitators. At the end of the training, the CARE teachers in each building will become demonstration teachers in their buildings and facilitate the action research of colleagues as they come on board. While it is early in the process, Sue feels that they are having success based on student feedback and attitudes as well as levels of engagement. Teachers are also indicating increased levels of personal insight and excitement at finally having tools for looking at the needs of students of color. To learn more about Sue’s work or the CARE program as it is working in Cherry Creek, please e-mail her at skhair@cherrycreekschools.org

 

 

Contents:

Feature

CRUE News

In the News

Perspectives

Did You Know

Watercooler

What’s new at CRUE?

Equity Network Update!

In December, we co-hosted our second quarterly Equity Network Meeting. It was a very successful meeting, with a presentation by Gabriel Guillaume from the Community Resource Center and the group coming together to define the mission of the Equity Network. To learn more about the Equity Network and to receive information about joining us at our next meeting on March 7, please visit: http://www.cruecenter.org/network.html


The Spring/Summer Institutes have been scheduled:

Limited spots available. Register early and save $75!

Race, Class, and Culture in School: Impact on Education and Achievement
April 22-23, 2008, 8:30am-4:30pm, University of Colorado Denver
Effective school personnel are equipped to understand and to teach ALL students. This material assists school personnel to explore how race, class, and culture impact students’ experiences in school, and how to develop effective school cultures that ensure success for all students. Participants will engage in both personal and professional exploration of issues of culture, power and privilege. They will identify the commonalities and differences present in their schools; and think critically about the impact of race, class, and culture in their schools and communities. This is the foundational training of the CRUE Center for developing culturally responsive schools and classrooms.

Culturally Responsive Literacy Practices
June 16-17, 2008, 8:30am-4:30pm, University of Colorado Denver
Literacy for what? This is the question that provides the framework for this module. Participants explore the evolution of literacy in the United States and learn how teachers can create a “literate” classroom environment. The module identifies the elements of culturally responsive literacy instruction and provides participants a framework to analyze their current classroom practices and explore ideas for implementing culturally responsive literacy practices. Participants will identify and develop embedded literacy strategies for content-area teachers to increase student engagement in the four language modes – reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.cruecenter.org/institutes.html

Graduate Class being offered at UC-D this Spring!

This is the second in the CRUE Certificate Cohort, but is open to anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding and applicable strategies.

LLC 5180: Working with Communities and Families

This class focuses on the importance of understanding and connecting with the community and families of the students in a school, with practical strategies and activities designed to uncover the rich resources that diverse students and families bring to schools. Participants will learn to connect and collaborate with community organizations and activities to increase student engagement and cultural relevance in the classroom. Class meets: Thursday, April 3rd 4:30pm-6:30pm and the following Saturdays: April 19th, May 17th, and June 14th from 8:30am-4:30pm.

For more information or to register, please visit:
http://www.cruecenter.org/certification.html

 

Equity Issues in the News

Please visit our site at: www.cruecenter.org/news.php for Local News as well as National News. We add articles on a weekly basis, so it is your one stop shop for equity issues and legislation as it happens! Please know that our articles are collected from a variety of sources and are in no way the views held by the CRUE Center. Our goal is to keep you informed on the latest happenings in our field and give you something to discuss with your teams. This month, be sure to check out the Washington Times’, “Multiculturalism is weakening the study of U.S. history in many school systems”, The Valley Courier’s, “Mentoring helps children achieve success” and The Pueblo Chieftain’s “White student drop-out rates troubling”.

 

Perspectives

Do you work in a high school classroom? Are you an administrator at a high school? Are you concerned about your district’s high schools? This article is for you…

‘Restoring Value’ to the High School Diploma:
The Rhetoric and Practice of Higher Standards

W. Norton Grubb, University of California, Berkeley
Jeannie Oakes, University of California, Los Angeles

October 2007

This article proposes new pathways to solving the call for “reinvention” of the high school in four main arenas: decreasing standards; loss of relevance, specifically in vocational training; issues of inequity; and loss of student interest. The authors examine current practices and offer an approach that distributes responsibility for standards throughout the educational community, while providing students with the benefits of curricular choice and differing routes to graduation.

To read the full article, please visit this page: http://epsl.asu.edu/epru/documents/EPSL-0710-242-EPRU.pdf

 

Did You Know?

Race—The Power of an Illusion

In 2003, PBS aired a three-part series on race in society, science, and history. At the companion Web site, explore race and ethnic diversity through a variety of interactive tools. Take a quiz to guess someone’s race based on a photograph or view a slideshow where people talk about how race affects them. This online resource will challenge you to examine your own assumptions, while educating you about human diversity. www.pbs.org/race

Around the Watercooler…

We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts about this month’s content as well as equity issues affecting your schools. Do you have any ideas to share with other CRUE members? Best Practices that are working in your classroom, school, or district? Please click here to tell us more: contact.

 

We would love to hear what you think of the newsletter!
Please send any feedback about this month’s content, features, or layout to: contact@cruecenter.org

FOR MORE INFO:

 
Culturally Responsive Urban Education
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 625
Denver, CO 80204