Austin ISD community discusses how race affects education in online forum

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Parents, teachers and administration in the Austin Independent School District opened up about the way race plays a role in the education of students Tuesday night.

In an online conversation, people listened to others and told their own personal stories.

One teacher shared a moment when he felt conflicted—when a white student jokingly used a racial slur. Others brainstormed ways to reduce racial disparities when it comes to standardized testing.

“If we have conversations around this, we are hoping it has transformative effects on our classrooms and how our students are performing,” said AISD parent Nina Wilson.

By talking about these issues, district leaders say it’s an opportunity to raise awareness and lift up AISD’s diverse set of students.

“We really wanted to spark a dialogue and an understanding to foster social cohesion, to create change to address issues and trauma some of our students and families were experiencing,” said Leonor Vargas, administrative supervisor for AISD’s Parent Programs.

The online forum called “RaceTalks” was a joint effort between AISD and its race and equity council.

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