Happy Holidays, MSAN Educators!

Student voice is at the center of another edition of MSAN’s monthly newsletter. Here are just a few FAQ’s you might find useful as you continue to create opportunities for students to guide your school’s equity work.

Q: Do you want to participate in a national conversation about youth leadership and educational equity?
A: Join us on December 12th for MSAN’s first Twitter chat being co-hosted with AASA.

Q: Are you looking for ways to center student voice in your school change initiatives?
A: Take a look at the power of YPAR (Youth Participatory Action Research) or consider using the Equity Toolkit for Inclusive Schools developed by our colleagues at the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center.

Q: Do you want to share how students are leading the educational equity work in your classroom, your school, or your community?
A: Consider submitting a proposal to lead a breakout session at the 2018 MSAN Institute


Save the Date! MSAN to Co-Host Twitter Chat on Youth Leadership & Educational Equity
December 12, 2017 6 PM Pacific/7 PM Central/8 PM Eastern
Hashtag: #Supts4Equity

MSAN will be co-hosting a Twitter Chat on Youth Leadership and Educational Equity with AASA, The School Superintendents Association, on December 12, 2017 at 7 PM Central time. A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation that happens in real time, using a particular hashtag. Questions will be asked from the @MSANachieve Twitter handle using the hashtag #Supts4Equity, where we will invite you to join the discussion and ask questions. Student leaders from MSAN districts will also be helping to lead the conversation. To join, simply log into Twitter on December 12 at 7 PM Central, and start tweeting using the hashtag #Supts4Equity. Don't have a Twitter account? Create one here--or, to watch the conversation without Tweeting, simply use a Twitter chat tool like tchat (http://www.tchat.io/rooms/supts4equity) to follow the chat in real time. Be sure to follow AASA (@aasahq), MSAN (@MSANachieve) and the#Supts4Equity hashtag to get in on the full conversation!


Youth-Led Participatory Action Research:  Student Voice in Designing and Conducting Research
YPAR (Youth-led Participatory Action Research) is, according to UC-Berkeley’s YPAR Hub, “an innovative approach to positive youth and community development based in social justice principles in which young people are trained to conduct systematic research to improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them.” To see how YPAR is being used to address issues of racial inequity in schools, take a look at Classroom Xin the Madison Metropolitan School District--a project through which high school students engaged in a year of research on practices of “teachers that are highly effective and work well with marginalized populations.” The results of the students’ research  has informed how the district defines a culturally responsive teacher. For another example of YPAR, see how students in the San Francisco Unified School District engaged in the YPAR process to Identifying Oppression and Gender Bias in a School Dress Code.


Student-Created Video: “Understanding the Harm--The Nationwide Movement to Eliminate Indian Mascots”
November was Native American Heritage Month, but working for educational equity means teaching the histories and perspectives of people of color year round. Research has shown that the continued use of American Indian mascots, symbols, images, and personalities has a negative effect on not only American Indians students but all students. Check out this video on eliminating Indian mascots, created by West High Native American Student Association students in the Madison Metropolitan School District with filmmaker Reynaldo Morales.  Through this project, students explored concepts such as the effects of racist caricatures on student achievement, storytelling as a tool for change, and what it means to be an ally. Enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and University of Wisconsin Doctoral Candidate Rachel Byington,who co-advised the project, presented at last year’s MSAN Institute on The Importance of Cultural Programs for Urban Native Youth. Click here for a video of that session, and click here for session materials.


An Equity Toolkit for Inclusive Schools: Centering Youth Voice in School Change
Using Mitra and Gross’s (2009) “Pyramid of Student Voice” framework, this equity toolkit from the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center centers the notion of “student voice” as a robust tool for increasing equity in schools. Although the toolkit is designed for collaborative use with school adults and youth, it can be modified for use at the classroom-level, solely with youth, or solely with adults. In essence, this tool is designed to meet school stakeholders where they are and provide them with opportunities for reflection and planning in order to advance equity at the school, grade-level, or classroom level.


The 2018 MSAN Institute will be held April 26-27, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin
Breakout Session Proposals due by January 19
Each year, teachers, administrators, parents, and community partners from across MSAN facilitate breakout sessions at the MSAN Institute on their work to end the effects of racism on schools. Two focus areas provide the framework for the MSAN Institute: furthering equity-focused leadership, and advancing cultural competence. Sessions can highlight practices for classroom teachers, building- or district-level decision makers, and family engagement leaders; sessions may outline current initiatives as well as inform future research. The conference planning team seeks proposals that highlight promising practices at all levels - elementary, middle, high school, or district. Please think about the promising practices you’d like to share with your equity-focused colleagues from across the MSAN network, and considersubmitting a proposal for a breakout session by January 19 for this year’s MSAN Institute!

©2014 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System