The Black Education Strategy Roundtable
What is the Roundtable?
The Black Education Strategy Roundtable is an advisory group to the Commission on African American Affairs. The group was convened by the Commission after the Greater Puget Sound African American Educational Summit on May 6, 2006. The Commission worked with The Breakfast Group, Tabor 100, and diversity staff at the University of Washington to host that summit.
The original goal of the Roundtable was to participate in and respond to the Washington Learns process in 2006. As work continued, a steering team stepped forward and the the Roundtable group decided to keep working indefinitely. We are now working to support and advance new policies and programs to help Black students succeed at all levels of education in Washington State.
What the Black Community Wants
The Roundtable worked with hundreds of people at five work sessions to develop four key recommendations, first published in September 2006.
- A statewide strategic plan to close the racial “opportunity and achievement gap,” so that all students in the P-20 (Preschool through graduate school) education system can meet state standards by the year 2014
- A public/private partnership to fund and operate local family engagement and empowerment activities and/or “capacity-building” institutes that equip parents/family/guardians to be effective “first teachers” and education advocates for their children
- A public/private partnership to fund and operate more community-based, supplemental education for Black youth in math and reading, including before- and after-school tutoring, Saturday schools, and summer academies
- A statewide school funding and policy package that increases funding for schools AND fundamentally redesigns the school day, week, year, classroom setting, curriculum, and pedagogy practices around the needs and learning styles of students who are not meeting state standards
These recommendations were presented in person by Roundtable Steering Team members to these elected officials between Oct. 2006 and Feb. 2007:
- Gov. Chris Gregoire on Feb. 21, 2007*
- Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Terry Bergeson on Oct. 30, 2006
- Speaker of the House Frank Chopp on Feb. 12, 2007
- House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt (R-20th District)
- K-12 Subcommittee of Washington Learns on multiple occasions
- Gov. Gregoire's Policy Director Laurie Dolan on Feb. 12, 2007
- Sen. Rosa Franklin (D-29th District)*
- Sen. Jim Kastama (D-25th District)
- Rep. Sharon Tomiko-Santos (D-37th District)*
- Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37th District)*
- Rep. Phyllis Kenney (D-46th District)*
- Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-25th District)
- Rep. Mike Armstrong (R-12th District)
- Rep. Mark Miloscia (D-30th District)
- Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23rd District)
* See photos of these elected officials in the Archive for African American Legislative Day
The recommendations above appeared in the Roundtable's first publication, released in September 2006. See "Key Messages for Policy Makers" in PDF or email us to ask for hard copies.
Before meeting with Gov. Gregoire, the Roundtable Steering Team sent her a copy of the "Key Messages..." publication, along with this letter in PDF format.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader