Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework
The CR-S framework specifically embeds the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion into student-centered learning environments. It is our hope that students will see themselves within the instructional materials used to support our curriculum and teachers feel supported in their attempts to connect and build relationships with all students.
National Council of Teachers of English member Rudine Sims Bishop wisely said, “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” 
To that point, it is important to note that when a specific topic is presented, it is meant for educational purposes and not as an advocacy effort or to promote certain agendas. Further, it is intended to help education stakeholders create student-centered learning environments that affirm cultural identities; foster positive academic outcomes; develop students’ abilities to connect across lines of difference; elevate historically marginalized voices; empower students as agents of social change; and contribute to individual student engagement, learning, growth, and achievement through the cultivation of critical thinking.
In some districts, parents have expressed concern that students are taught this type of material through the lens of Critical Race Theory, which became controversial in recent months. Critical Race Theory is not part of the curriculum in ER, nor is the intention of any lesson to make any student feel guilty or bad about themselves. When these lessons are delivered, teachers share historical information from multiple perspectives and seek to create an open dialogue about a topic that may be new to students. It would be in direct conflict with the concept of culturally responsive education to do things, say things or teach things that made any student feel bad about themselves.
The combination of Culturally Responsive Education and a more complete discussion of national and local history is designed to introduce students to concepts and issues that have many and competing perspectives, in a way that leads to civil dialogue.