Giving Compass' Take:

• Kate Gearson, managing partner of UnboundEd trains teachers to confront their unconscious racial bias in the classroom.  

• Forcing teachers to have uncomfortable conversations about their bias towards certain students is an important step for education reform.  These programs are for schools that opt-in to do this usually with an outside organization.  Will more schools start to participate in these types of trainings and partnerships? Is this something that one day could possibly be state mandated?

• In the interview with Kate Gearson, she mentions that one way implicit bias reveals itself is in the disproportionate amount of students of color who are suspended compared to white students.  Schools in Colorado grappling with this exact problem as they try to find solutions to stop this practice. 

As a teacher trainer, Kate Gerson asks teachers to examine what she sees as unconscious racial bias as one of the ways to close the nation’s persistent achievement gap between whites and students of color, especially those who are poor.

Gerson, 46, is a former English teacher who is now a managing partner of programs at the nonprofit UnboundEd, which trains educators to use free, high-quality standards-aligned curriculum materials for all students.

She has become vocal about the need for educators to reflect on their possible role in the achievement gap, based on current educational research.

Gerson considers standards-aligned curriculum adoption to be the first step in a two-step process that will lead to improved instruction for low-income students of color. The second step, she says, is changing teachers’ practices in ways that don’t hold low-performing students back and are culturally responsive to students’ diverse backgrounds.

Previously, she laid out her perspectives in an opinion piece published last May, called: “We won’t break the status quo until we admit our own biases: Here are the research-based solutions.”

Read the full article about confronting racial bias with educators by Theresa Harrington at EdSource