Efforts, fueled by misinformation, to omit teaching complete history and censure teachers will not happen in Colorado after the State Board of Education voted this week to approve social studies standards for students that include ” the experiences and contributions of diverse groups: Latino, Indigenous, African American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, religious minorities, and LGBTQ people.”  

Together with our supporters and other partners we raised our voices in favor of students learning accurate, fact-based accounts of history that describe the contributions and persecution of certain groups.

When students have the opportunity to learn an accurate, fact-based account of history, it enables them to avoid repeating mistakes of the past, succeed in diverse workplaces and communities, and work toward creating a better and just society.

The State Board of Education is poised to vote on updates to Colorado’s social studies standards in November. A committee of educators, professors, and other experts revised the standards to align to new Colorado legislation and public feedback.

That committee faced pushback from some in the public – and some on the State Board of Education – over the number of times various groups are referenced.    A 2019 law  called for more inclusive social studies standards and lists the inclusion of information about the contributions and persecution of American Indians, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals within these groups. A commission of experts (the 1192 Commission) was formed as a result of this law and they made recommend updates to the standards. Now, it’s time for the State Board to accept those recommendations! 

We must ensure that efforts, fueled by misinformation, to omit teaching complete history and censure teachers do not happen in Colorado!  

When students have the opportunity to learn an accurate, fact-based account of history, it enables them to avoid repeating mistakes of the past, succeed in diverse workplaces and communities, and work toward creating a better and just society.   Schools need to be safe and supportive environments for ALL students.    Email State Board Chair Angelika Schroeder and ask her to accept the final revisions to the social studies standards by the 1192 Commission.

We are on step closer to House Bill 22-1220 becoming a reality! 

House Bill 22-1220, which will remove barriers to support teacher candidates entering the workforce, passed the House and is being heard in the Senate Education Committee TOMORROW. We need to show Senators how much support there is for this policy, so will you send an email with one click?     

EMAIL SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS

HB22-1220 will:  

  • support teacher candidates by paying them for their student teaching work, 
  • remove financial barriers by paying for teacher exam fees, and
  • expand pathways to licensure by allowing multiple ways to demonstrate competency. 

Read more about HB22-1220 in this Colorado Sun article. We are proud to champion HB22-1220 because we see this policy as a pathway to increasing teacher diversity in Colorado. We know that removing financial barriers and increasing pathways to licensure will ensure a more diverse educator workforce, which is critical for all of Colorado’s students to experience just and supportive schools. 

On March 31, the Senate Education Committee passed HB22-1295 Department Early Childhood And Universal Preschool Program on a 5-2 vote. This bill takes several steps to address the existing challenges faced by families and providers, including strengthening Colorado’s early childhood infrastructure, developing a single application for families to access all publicly funded early education services, and better supporting our early childhood workforce. Parent, community leader, and Stand Advocacy Fellow, Yaeel, delivered her testimony in support of the bill.

English below

Mi nombre es Yaeel Duarte y soy Fellow de la organización de Stand for Children hace ya dos años. Estoy aqui para dar tetstimonio a favor de el projecto de ley HB 22 – 1295.  

La razón por la que estoy dando testimonio   a favor  de esta propuesta, es  porque quiero asegurarme que la comunidad a la que sirvo tenga la informacion necesaria para facilitar la educación temprana de sus hijos. 

 Considero que las leyes actuales  No han beneficiado al máximo a la comunidad de habla espanol por varios factores por supuesto el primero es el factor socioeconómico el cual impide en la mayoría de los casos el que los padres se involucren en la educación de sus hijos,  otro factor igual de importante es el del conocimiento, aunque existen ciertas estrategias para pasar el mensaje de inscripción en este caso No siempre son las más efectivas algo que erra el sistema escolar es deducir que el nivel de aprendizaje de los padres es el mismo en todas las culturas y No es así. 

Muchos de estos padres se rinden al momento de buscar opciones para sus hijos en etapa preescolar No solo por el idioma si no también por No tener suficiente apoyo tanto con informacion como con el proceso en general de dicha inscripción, que para variar el personal de las escuelas lo hacen más complicado de varias formas, y es  por eso es que existe ”La Sra que me cuida a mi hijo” porque prefirió pagar menos y prefirió ir con alguien  que le entiende y No le pide tooodos los requisitos que le pide el sistema actual. 

Las consecuencias de esto Son niños analfabetos bajos en vocabulario y por ende bajos en Lectura y Escritura, lo que conlleva a esta famosa brecha académica en los niños.  

El pasar esta Ley le ofrece  herramientas a los padres de hacer hijos independientes y les dará la seguridad de tener éxito académico en el futuro. 

My name is Yaeel Duarte and I am a returning Fellow of the Stand for Children. I am here today to give testimony in favor of House Bill 1295, universal pre-school. I am testifying in favor of this bill in part because I want to ensure the Spanish-speaking community weighs in on this proposed public policy, they deserve to have the information they need to facilitate their children’s early education. I believe that the current practices regarding pre-school  have led to opportunity disparities for Spanish-speaking families for several reasons. The most obvious factor is affordability, which disproportionately punishes single income/low-income families, particularly Latinas as statistically they are more likely to stay at home and save the money than almost any other demographic.  In most cases, these same low socio-economic families are also less likely to get involved in the education of their children. In addition to the obvious language barrier, there is also a lack of access and policy knowledge, although there are certain strategies to pass the registration message in this case. They are not always the most effective. Sometimes we also forget to see how parents have quite different education levels and can help their kids differently at home. They rely on pre-k to give those supports. 

Many of these parents give up when looking for options for their children in the preschool stage, not only because of the language, but also because they do not have enough support both with information and with the registration process. The consequences of this lack of academic access are children with low vocabulary and therefore struggle in Reading and Writing, leading to one of the most notable academic achievement gaps in Colorado schools. 

Passing this Law would help ensure early success for children and more academic options for parents, please vote yes on HB-1295.