Photo credit:Jamie Jones
All students deserve an excellent education. As teachers and former teachers in America’s urban and rural public schools, Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) members know firsthand that changing the lives of 20 students is a challenging and deeply rewarding undertaking. Unfortunately, all of us have witnessed instances when the education system has not afforded all children in our communities an excellent education. What if we could work together to collectively change the system for 2,000 students? 200,000 students? What if we could change the laws and affect those systems to ensure all students get the education they deserve?
Members of LEE are united by the belief in every child’s potential and the shared experience of teaching in underserved schools. We also have an ongoing responsibility to help change educational outcomes for every student in our community.
My name is Mike Buman. I’ve had the privilege of being the Executive Director of LEE for almost a year now. I’m humbled and honored to lead LEE as we build our organization. I believe deeply that by working together we can and will change outcomes for children. I wanted to introduce myself and, more importantly, re-introduce you to LEE.
At our core, LEE is a leadership development and civic engagement organization focused on serving our members. Our contribution to this movement will be helping LEE members get involved and increase their impact in two ways: civic engagement and public leadership.
First, we all have a role to play in making quality education for all students a reality. Becoming more civically engaged means all of our members finding a way to contribute, no matter how much time you have to give. That may mean registering to vote, attending a rally, sharing your expertise, working with your neighbors, as well as staying informed about the policies that affect the children in your community.
Second, an increasing number of us have to answer the call of public leadership. That means we need more elected leaders, more policy leaders, more advocates, and more community organizers who believe in our kids.
LEE is a non-partisan organization and does not support a specific policy agenda. We support all of our members and the policies they believe are right for their communities. Our view is the answer to the issues of a local community should come from people who have taught in that community, worked in partnership with community members, and have made that community their home. That said, we do encourage our members to understand what has (and hasn’t) worked in other places and think critically about the implications for their own community. We help foster that critical thinking by highlighting diverse viewpoints and providing opportunities for our members to engage in thoughtful discussion.
LEE exists to serve you. We are excited to bring you new programs and resources and roll out new initiatives and support in the coming months and years. Our plans to help our members civically engage and pursue leadership are ambitious. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you in future discussions. But, to be honest, we have a lot more to do. We care deeply about the views of our members and want to know what you think. If something is working, something isn’t working, or you see something that should exist – please let us know. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to communicate with the LEE membership more frequently in the future. We aspire for the LEE membership to play a vital part of the broader movement that will contribute to achieving educational equity. Together, we can realize the collective power of our civic engagement.
Thank you for believing in all children and partnering with us on this journey.
I look forward to working together,
Leadership for Educational Equity