At JerseyCAN, our sole focus is ensuring that every New Jersey student – regardless of zip code, cultural background or socioeconomic status – has access to an excellent and equitable education. We believe that such an education is critical to every individual’s future success, which is the foundation for the success of our communities, state and nation.
The moment we find ourselves in today calls for action. Words matter, but actions are how we demonstrate true commitment to a cause. As a statewide advocacy organization, we must play a leadership role in bringing diverse voices together to elevate the policy and program changes we need to promote equity in our education system.
In the coming weeks, we will announce a new group of outstanding educators who will serve as our first New Jersey Teacher Leader Policy Fellows. In partnership with We Raise New Jersey, we will participate in a two-way dialogue with these diverse teachers to hear their perspectives and input and to share strategies and opportunities for advocacy around educational equity. We look forward to learning from these educators and sharing more about this work in the coming months.
In addition, we will release the first report in our New Jersey Educator Workforce series. Before the coronavirus pandemic, we were planning a multi-report series to explore our current educator workforce and what it will take to build the workforce of the future. In our new reality, with growing needs for quality remote instruction, hybrid options and individualized supports for students and families, it is more important than ever to understand district staffing and training needs so that we can prepare an agile educator workforce. Our first report will explore some of these needs, including highlighting the significant gaps between teacher and student demographics and the critical importance of culturally responsive teaching practices.
Through actions such as these, we will raise our voices as part of the difficult – but incredibly necessary – conversation about educational equity in New Jersey. We hope you will join us.