Time for change, time to collect race-based data

On September 22, 2020 the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the following motion:

Given that collecting race based data is one necessary step in working to
dismantle systemic racism and racial discrimination, the Edmonton Public School
Board formally requests that Administration develop a model for the collection of
race-based data in our Division, in consultation with communities in Edmonton
impacted by racism.

This motion is significant for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s long overdue. Secondly, though I may have introduced and championed this motion it really is a motion rooted in the work of the entire Board of Trustees and supported by all of my colleagues.

We know that systemic and overt racism exist within education systems. If we are serious
about addressing the problem of systemic racism and its effects within Edmonton Public Schools and on our students then we must first collect data that shows the race of the students we serve and the
outcomes that these students experience. Currently, the lack of race-based data is making it difficult to measure educational inequalities and to identify inequities that exist because of racism and
discrimination.

Here’s a link to the report that supports the motion.

A few highlights:

  • The decision to collect race-based data is a first and necessary step towards addressing
  • racism and systemic racism in our schools.
  • The Board of Trustees expects that the meaningful use of the data collected will lead to policy and planning changes which will lead to greater equity within our school division for racialized students.
  • The Board recognizes that developing a model will take time and as part of our next steps on this motion we will be writing to the Minister of Education asking for the implementation of the collection of race based data by schools provincially. We welcome any school divisions who would like to partner with us on this work to reach out to EPSB.

What’s next?
Administration will present to the Board a plan on how to collect race-based data, beginning with ways in which community will be involved in this important work.

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