Giving Compass' Take:

• Amadou Diallo explains how teachers are engaging in difficult conversations about racial bias in order to better serve their students, particularly students of color. 

• How can funders support efforts to develop programs like this? 

• Learn about racial bias training at schools.

As first period gets underway at Cambridge Street Upper School, veteran math teacher Stephen Abreu leads a small-group discussion. But the conversation isn’t about middle school algebra, and Abreu isn’t talking to students. Seven of his fellow teachers, nearly all of them white women, are sitting across from each other talking about race, white privilege and how their own biases affect their relationships with students.

“Am I just always going to be wrong?” one teacher wonders about her interactions with students of color.

“Black kids need to know they’re not being singled out,” says another, during a conversation about making sure that her students see she isn’t playing favorites when it comes to classroom discipline.

Another colleague confesses her surprise at how often teachers of color have reported experiencing racial bias in their own interactions in the building.

Each of Cambridge Street’s staff members participate in meetings just like this one every week. They’re known as cultural proficiency seminars and attendance is mandatory. Teachers describe these 45-minute sessions as candid and, more often than not, uncomfortable. But they say the discussions are helping them to become better educators within a system in which predominantly white staff teach in schools with significant numbers of black and Latino students.

Read the full article about racial bias conversations by Amadou Diallo at The Hechinger Report.