Leveraging the BELE Framework to advocate for positive change

By The BELE Network

Last week, the culminating efforts of BELE partners and friends came to a head with the release of the BELE Framework, a guide for transforming student experiences and learning outcomes. While this is a significant milestone for the BELE Network, and a manifestation of the hard work and research of our partners, our work is far from finished.

June and July are critical months for educators and administrators. As this school year comes to a close amid the COVID-19 crisis, decision makers have begun looking towards the next school year — planning how they will address budget shortfalls, learning losses stretching back into March, and if and how students will re-enter school in the fall.

Looking at the media and what types of stories are being told can help us understand the conversation and where it’s going.

As schools and systems have navigated COVID-19, and more recently reacted to protests against racial injustice and police brutality, the media has contributed to the evolving narrative at the intersection of education, equity, and COVID-19. Coverage that initially discussed the logistics and mechanisms of the widespread transition to distance learning has shifted to analyze how resources can be distributed equitably and the challenges of the coming school year. This evolution highlights the appetite for proven guidance, resources, and solutions that will support educators and students moving forward.

Dark Purple on bottom: Coverage of the transition to distance learning; Salmon/pink second to bottom: Coverage of equity impacts of COVID-19 response; Light blue third to bottom: Coverage of budget impacts for the coming school year

In response to protests around racial injustice and police brutality there has also been a steadily evolving media narrative around systemic racism, the relationship between schools and law enforcement, and how we can implement anti-racist practices and policies in our schools. Many school boards, teachers unions, and education leaders have issued statements in support of Black Lives Matter, vowing to ground their work in anti-racism. While this conversation is relatively limited to education insiders at the moment, it will likely evolve as we approach the coming school year. The undeniable truth is that it is more critical than ever to ensure that our young people have learning environments that integrate anti-racism education at every level and equip them with the tools they need to reimagine the world to be more equitable and just.

During this time of planning and consideration, we want to ensure that these decision makers have the guidance they need to do right by each and every student as they return to school — with equitable, anti-racist practices and policies top-of-mind and the BELE Framework in hand.

If you are passionate about redesigning our schools to be more equitable, please join us in sharing out the BELE Framework with those who have the power to make decisions on budgets, curriculum, and services that schools offer.

In this effort, your personal network is your most valuable asset. Some actions that you can take now are:

  • Share this Medium piece outlining the BELE Framework with people you think might be interested or on your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
  • Share or retweet posts from the BELE Network or the Raikes Foundation promoting the launch of the framework, like this one on Twitter, or this one on LinkedIn.
  • Mention the BELE Framework when talking about equity in education with friends or colleagues

The completion of the BELE Framework is only one step on the path towards ensuring that each and every student has the opportunity to thrive in an equitable learning environment.

If we’ve learned anything from the past months, it’s that acting today is an essential step towards building a better tomorrow. We’re grateful to have so many of you beside us on this journey and appreciate your support.

With full hearts, optimism and gratitude,

The BELE Network

The BELE Network is dedicated to reimagining our inequitable school system that has failed too many for too long, and is committed to transforming our classrooms into learning environments that nurture the intellectual, emotional and cultural growth of all students — especially students of color.

Learn more about BELE on our website, and access our resource library to make your learning environments more equitable.

We are committed to creating learning environments that equitably support every student — especially students of color and low-income students. belenetwork.org

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