Critics of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) have said that its emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion has diverted attention away from students and academics and amounts to picking winners and losers.
According to its website, “The Oregon Department of Education advances fairness and excellence for every learner through collaborating with educators, partners, and communities.”
The Oregon Department of Education has developed a new tool to help educators and decision-makers understand institutional impediments. The Equity Lens module allows users access information on racial demographics in their state, which will enable them to make more informed decisions about where allocating funds would be beneficial for students’ learning environments.
Former ODE Executive Director Shadiin Garcia oversaw the creation of the Racial Justice Institute (RJI), whose stated mission is to “provide culturally and racially affirming learning environments for educators” within Oregon.
The Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA), Mississippi, has won a $2 million contract from the Education Advancement Council to establish an innovative new institute called Racial Justice Institute (RJI), which will serve as both training ground and resource center for 600 teachers across pre-k through 12th grade.
Daniel Ramirez, the interim executive director of ODE Educator Advancement Council (ODEAC) was a go-to person at Department of Education when their original $545 thousand contract with Community Design Partners became over 1.6 million dollars later on downline! He okayed paying them hundreds and thousands for this deal despite most other agencies saying it’s too much money spent in such little time frame.
The Department of Education lost Ramirez in July 2021 when he started working for Community Design Partners.
Important work needs to happen at the ODE. They are in charge of developing strategies for teachers and students, so they need a say when it comes down to Curriculum planning, especially since race plays such an integral role throughout US History! The problems with disparities arise because those involved lack sensitivity towards different cultures or understandings which lead them away from focusing on what really matters: Education itself.
To implement a significant shift in organizational structure, a new head of the department is required.
The future of education is changing and we’re ready. We have a history that needs to be addressed, but it’s time for change! A more equitable learning environment will not only benefit our communities, but also those who come after us. All students deserve an equal chance at success no matter their race or background, because nowadays there isn’t one single story behind what they learn. Instead, different experiences give rise to diverse insights which make them stronger people overall.