Considerations for school board candidates across the state

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: October 22, 2021

On Nov. 2, Colorado voters will weigh in on several initiatives and candidates, including local school board candidates. Bearing in mind the essential role school board members play in shaping the experiences of our children, we urge you to consider what is most important for their holistic and comprehensive education when casting your ballot. At the Colorado Children’s Campaign, we advocate for all kids to have access to age-appropriate, accurate, high-quality education – which includes teachings on race, identity, and social systems. 

You may be aware of the ongoing conversation across the country regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 education. CRT is an academic framework, typically taught in law school and graduate school for adults, that has recently become a misunderstood area of contention — a dog-whistle to represent any and all discourse on race and racism in schools. To help bring a more accurate understanding of CRT, we provide a brief explanation below so that you can make the most informed decision possible this upcoming election 

Critical Race Theory is the understanding that our identities, laws, and personal and collective histories have all been shaped by race. CRT argues that race impacts how each of us fare in life – from health outcomes to how the justice system affects us. It was first introduced in law schools to examine how the judicial system impacts all races differently. You can read more about CRT’s history and use from the American Bar Association by clicking here 

Education around racial identity and history impacts all children. When the topics of race and racism are taught clearly and holistically, we help our kids become the critical thinkers we need to build a more united, inclusive, and just future. This education also honors people of color who have made indelible contributions to our country for which they deserve credit. A culturally responsive education validates that by encouraging a more expansive understanding of who we are as a country and how we got here. That is something that everyone benefits from. 

For both white children and students of color, learning race and racism would be eye-opening, honest, and potentially self-actualizing. For students of color specifically, it could be empowering. Research shows that Black and Brown kids not only do better in school when their teachers reflect them and their experiences, but also when the curriculum does. Data also show that white children benefit and grow by being exposed to more diverse stories and people. Culturally responsive education that is age-appropriate pushes us – as community members, students, educators, and parents – to consider the collective and honor the resilience, beauty, and contributions of all. You can learn more about the benefits of an inclusive and holistic education here. 

We will be voting on a number of ballot measures that will impact the lives of Colorado kids and families on Nov. 2. In case you missed it, see our positions below and read more about why we have these stances here 

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.