Posts tagged school closures
Ethnic Studies Helped Me Tap Into My Full Potential
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On Thursday, C.K. McClathchy High School and UC Berkeley alumni Pachia Vang returned home to share her story about impact ethnic studies had on her life. Here is her touching testimony that she shared with the SCUSD Board of Education.


 

Dear Superintendent and Members of the Sacramento City Unified School District,

I wanted to talk to you about adopting ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement. In high school, I was a part of the HISP program at C.K. McClathchy High School. HISP stands for the Humanities and International Studies Program – which means that everything we learned, we learned from an international and human-centric perspective.

quote1I know HISP isn’t exactly the same thing as Ethnic Studies but being able to learn about history from a non-Western perspective as a woman of color at a young age was empowering because I was able to identify with something in the classroom for the first time. I consider myself lucky to have been able to be a part of HISP because it has given me the courage to look for and grasp onto opportunities in life that I never thought was possible. Last year, I graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and since have been able to work alongside amazing individuals within local government, agencies, different non-profits, and community organizations really giving back to where I come from.

Out of my entire family, I am the only person who has had the opportunity to be a part of HISP. I should feel grateful about what I've accomplished thus far but I feel sad because my brothers and sisters have not had the same opportunity. That’s something that I struggle with everyday trying to get them to believe in themselves and recognize their potential – because we come from communities where children aren’t encouraged to do more. People aren’t encouraged to do more. Why?

These things aren’t easy to change but I think it’s the responsibility of schools to provide an environment for our kids to understand why. To understand where they come from so that they can understand who they are, what they can do for themselves and what they can do in this world. Introducing ethnic studies as a high school requirement is one of the first steps we can take in this direction so I hope that you really do consider this not just as a resolution but as a plan to be implemented.

HIP's Statement on Superintendent Raymond’s Resignation
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For Immediate Release: October 17, 2013

Contact: Jonathan Tran, (916) 668-9447

Press Release

Statement on Superintendent Raymond’s Resignation

SACRAMENTO, CA – During his tenure as Superintendent, Mr. Raymond made important progress for several of his “priority schools.” Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) applauds his efforts and attention to a handful of schools that had been historically disenfranchised and starved of essential resources. Furthermore, while HIP opposed the process by which Mr. Raymond and the School Board closed seven neighborhood schools, we recognize that Mr. Raymond remained cordial in all of our interactions.

It must be noted however, that throughout the school closure process, Mr. Raymond repeatedly promised displaced students, parents and families that they would have his unwavering support and attention during this very tumultuous time. His abrupt departure in the midst of the transition process is a reversal of that commitment. Many of the displaced students are still adjusting to their new schools and no plans have been formalized for the seven vacant campuses.  Additionally, Mr. Raymond’s resignation comes at a very capricious moment for Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) with several important policy issues still unresolved—including the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula and the Common Core Waiver.

Moving forward, HIP hopes the SCUSD Board of Education will seek out a non-divisive leader who is committed to reducing educational disparities, elevating the engagement of limited-English proficient families and prioritizing all schools. As HIP organizer Mai Yang Vang describes, “Any incoming superintendent needs to understand that in order to resolve the District’s significant challenges—students, parents, teachers and community members must be part of the solution. It is imperative that the Board of Education identify a superintendent that inspires true collaboration and is responsive to the needs of all students in Sacramento.”

HIP sincerely thanks Mr. Raymond for his public service and wishes him and his family well during his transition.

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 **HIP is a grassroots-organizing group whose mission is to strengthen the political power of Hmong and disenfranchised communities through innovative civic engagement and strategic grassroots mobilization. We envision a Sacramento of empowered communities that thrive in a socially and economically just democracy.**