The Education Law Center – PA has just released a new report — We Need Supportive Spaces That Celebrate Us: Black Girls Speak Out About Public Schools. It centers the experiences of Black girlhood in Pennsylvania public schools and sets forth Black girls’ recommendations for making long overdue changes that will create more just school communities. Supportive Spaces is the first education-focused report of its kind in Pennsylvania because it centers the voices of the experts: Black girls attending public schools!
Public schools should be supportive, affirming, and well-resourced places where Black girls learn and thrive. We know this isn’t the reality. Inequities caused by anti-Black racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and economic injustice pervade every aspect of Black girls’ education and deprive them of the types of educational spaces they are entitled to under law and deserve. This can and must change.
Read more about Supportive Spaces and our Black Girls Education Justice Initiative at https://www.elc-pa.org/supportivespaces/
ELC staff attorney Paige Joki called upon the School District of Philadelphia’s Board of Education to consider equity measures in considering whether to authorize or renew Philadelphia area charter schools, in addition to the measures of academic, operational, and financial measures used in the current Charter School Performance Framework.
ELC’s testimony highlighted students’ rights to be free from racism at school and the ways that racialized school discipline policies such as discriminatory grooming codes, subjective violations of schools’ codes of conduct, and the issuance of parental exclusion notices push Black and Brown learners, particularly Black girls, out of education spaces. ELC also called for revisions to the Charter School Performance Framework to ensure that complaints of racial harassment and discrimination received by the Charter School Office are included the evaluation framework. Read the testimony here.