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Representing Our Black History in the Classroom

It is Black History Month, and our 23 schools are celebrating with special history lessons, guest speakers, student performances, and so much more. Black History Month is an important reminder to stop and reflect on the incredible contributions Black Americans have made to our country and each of our individual communities.

As we honor Black history, we must also reflect on what we are doing today to build a more just and equitable future for students of all races, backgrounds, abilities, and cultures. At Rocketship, one of the many ways we put this belief into action is by emphasizing representation in our school communities. 30% of our teachers and school leaders identify as Black, and 30% of our students across our national network also identify as Black. In contrast, only 6% of teachers nationally identify as Black.

Representation is incredibly important for our Black students to see themselves in their teachers, but it is also important for our non-Black students to have Black teachers. Research consistently demonstrates that having even one Black teacher during the formative elementary school years can profoundly influence long-term academic success for students of all backgrounds. However, access to diverse educators and leaders should not be left to chance. Every student deserves access to an excellent academic experience supported by intentional efforts to cultivate diverse educator teams.

By creating high-quality schools with educators from diverse and representative backgrounds, we are not only honoring Black history, but we are working to create a bright future for all of our children. This work is not confined to one month but is at the core of everything we do at Rocketship Public Schools to create equal access to opportunity for all.

Published on February 23, 2024

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