Educational equity requires the input of those serving in the frontlines in our schools. Read about a few educators who’ve recently stepped forward to shape policy and fight on behalf of students and families.
Since the start of the pandemic, teachers have risen to the extraordinary challenge of educating young students through unprecedented setbacks. Shifting between virtual and in-person instruction, adapting curriculums to meet students’ needs, creating safe learning environments for students, and so much more – teachers demonstrate their superpowers time and again.
At the same time, educators have been brought under attack in political agendas across the country. More than 300 anti-equality bills are currently making their way through many statehouses.
From the discriminatory “Don’t Say Gay” bill recently signed into law in Florida to being accused of indoctrinating students on racial issues, public school teachers are at the forefront of these educational policies.
Political attacks like these not only affect teachers’ abilities to instruct students, but they also perpetuate systemic barriers to equity and inclusion in our public schools.
We know that having teachers’ voices in policymaking – and within the halls of power in this country – is critical to shifting education policies to be more student-centered and equity-focused. When at the policy table, teachers bring expertise, urgency, and an intimate understanding of students’ needs and the services and resources schools require.
LEE members who are current and former educators are standing up for educational equity, fighting to put students’ needs ahead of political wishes around the country. Learn how these leaders are using their classroom experiences to shape education policy for students going forward.
Celebrating a Few LEE Educators Stepping Forward in Their Communities
Jasmine Bowles (Clayton County School Board, Georgia)
Jasmine currently represents her hometown on the Clayton County Board of Education, Georgia’s 5th largest school district. After graduating with her master’s in education, she began her 12 year career as an educator and organizer. Throughout her first term on school board, Jasmine shifted her district's culture of leadership by helping to establish committees, redesigning the superintendent’s evaluation, enacting a Black Lives Matter “Annual Week of Action” Resolution, and most recently, passing a policy that prioritizes marginalized businesses in the procurement process.
Mohamad Maarouf (Texas State House - District 133)
Mohamad Maarouf is running for a House District seat in his hometown of Houston. He wants to continue championing excellence in schools by increasing rigorous course offerings throughout the district, overhauling the teacher evaluation system, and instituting policies to clean up years of administrative mismanagement. Mohamad has served as both a teacher and a principal. As a principal, he implemented mastery grading, restorative practices, and an AP For All culture. Mohamad plans to fight to ensure the equitable distribution of resources to Houston’s youth.
Adrienne Simmons (Gwinnett County School Board, Georgia)
For the past 20 years, Dr. Adrienne Simmons has served in public education and is now running to serve on the Gwinnett County Public School Board of Education. Adrienne has worked as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, literacy coordinator, and statewide administrator. She knows firsthand many of the challenges students, families, educators, and communities face in trying to ensure all youth meet their full potential. As a school board member, Adrienne looks to champion high-quality learning experiences that authentically engage students and appeal to their varied personal and professional interests.
...and countless others! Thank you to every educator stepping out of the classroom and running for office this year, in order to protect and serve students.
Ready to Change Policy?
You can join these educators in shaping policy and running to represent your own community. LEE is here to support you every step of the way. Exploring our digital resources and meet with a coach to make a plan.