BOCES leaders in support of Board of Regents DEI framework; continue update of criminal justice programs
At its April meeting, the New York State Board of Regents released a draft framework on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our schools. The 37 district superintendents representing BOCES across New York applaud this effort and look forward to collaborating with the Regents, the Commissioner and school leaders across the state in implementing this framework in our schools.
The framework brings together multiple national tragedies, which highlight the need for this call to action. BOCES of NYS recognizes that the senseless killings of Black and Brown people by law enforcement, violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, hateful and racist comments or discrimination of any kind have no place in our school communities. Further, there is real danger in not having multiple perspectives and points of view represented and taught in our classrooms.
Since last summer, the BOCES district superintendents have been working to collectively, and individually, review and update Police Science and Criminal Justice curriculums and textbooks used in these popular BOCES programs. The purpose of this review is to ensure that systemic racism and implicit bias is addressed in this coursework. Where possible, BOCES educators are working with local, regional and state police officials to assure alignment to the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, which aims to reform police work across the state.
The BOCES statewide leadership is also collectively engaged in professional development lead by national consultant Natalie McGee. This work focuses on cultural proficiency and research-based practices aimed at helping school leaders improve student achievement through the adoption of equitable and inclusive teaching practices.
Additional diversity, equity and inclusion-related work that is ongoing in various BOCES across New York include updating and reviewing hiring practices and recruiting for a diverse workforce, professional development for teachers and professional staff on implicit bias and cultural proficiency, as well as trainings on inclusive communication practices.
BOCES leaders recognize that there is extensive work to be done in our schools and school communities across New York as we strive for more diverse, equitable and inclusive educational environments. This work will only be done through partnerships and thoughtful collaboration with education entities statewide.