Oregon students advocate for a more racially conscious education

Portland Tribune

Article Title: "Oregon students advocate for a more racially conscious education"

Date of Article: 08/12/2020

Article Author: Shauna Muckle


Students say more professional development and funding needed to fill gaps in state ethnic studies standards




“Place-based education offers route forward The Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs website offers the comprehensive curriculum in digital form for teachers' free usage.


The standards’ emphasis on Oregon’s own relationship with race, discrimination and injustice channels a concept called “place-based education,” or learning about broader issues by understanding how those issues manifest in one’s own community. They also echo current calls by Oregon students like Cano to acknowledge the stains of racial injustice upon a supposed progressive hub.


The Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs website offers the comprehensive curriculum in digital form for teachers’ free usage.


For Oregon’s and Portland’s Black history specifically, two educators at the Cottonwood School for Civics and Science, a charter school known for its place-based approach to instruction, devised a comprehensive curriculum that reveals how schools might implement ethnic studies standards in the future. Known as “Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs,” the curriculum, initially designed for sixth graders in 2010, has been employed in recent years as a model for other ethnic studies classes and curriculums.


Lisa Colombo and Sarah Anderson, who are white, created and disseminated the curriculum with funding from national grants, including one from the U.S. Department of Education four years ago. In 2018, the project received another grant from the Library of Congress to digitize the curriculum and make its contents freely available to educators across the country. With that boost in funding, Colombo and Anderson have organized several workshops with teachers in the Portland metro area and other places in Oregon who expressed interest in using the Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs curriculum in their own classrooms.”

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Author Bio:

Shauna Muckle, a recent graduate of Jesuit High School, is one of two summer interns working for Amplify, a Metro-supported project aimed at elevating the voices of students from communities historically underrepresented in local newsrooms.

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