Now is the Time to Transform Education for Our Students

At E3 Alliance, we know that while data is not destiny, data does tell a powerful story. And unfortunately, our data very often mirrors the reality that our country is anguishing over at the moment. George Floyd was murdered by the very institution charged with protecting him. He died needlessly, like so many here in Central Texas and throughout the country. Our schools are charged with helping our students flourish, but when we take a deeper dive into the data what we find is huge inequities for students of color. When we first started digging deeply into disciplinary data in 2016, we found that almost half of our black, middle school boys received serious disciplinary referrals. This rate was over twice the referral rate of any other student group. We dug deeply into college enrollment rates and discovered that enrollment for our low-income students of color is less than half that of other student groups. Data clearly shows our current education system is failing our students of color.

E3 Alliance’s Mission Statement is:

Transforming education systems through data and collaboration so all students succeed.

When we adopted this more focused mission a few years ago, the “data,” “collaboration,” and “systems change” pieces were absolutely clear. But did we really need “so all students succeed?”  Wasn’t that already implied by our work?

We decided we must be explicit:

To not allow our system to leave anyone behind. To serve those who need us most. To address the injustices that are not just in our past but in our present. Today, when our country is both angry and despairing of injustices targeted at our black and brown neighbors and friends . . . injustices that harm us all.

We need to listen and are listening. We need to do more to address the needs of our students. If we don’t then we can never really close the gaps in education. Collectively, we can seize this moment to come together to change education systems for the better.

To our brown and black students who have struggled against hundreds of years of systemic racism: we stand with you. Let’s work together to make change happen.