OSBA Board adopts new goal on equity-related issues
Monday, September 21, 2020
The OSBA Board of Directors has unanimously adopted a new goal on diversity, equity and inclusion.
In part, the goal states that “OSBA will improve student outcomes and education equity by providing our members with tools, knowledge and skills to govern with excellence.” It goes on to state that OSBA will help make Oregon “a national leader” on equity-related issues by promoting cultural diversity, educating school leaders and combating racial bias and hate speech.
The new goal, which was voted on Friday night by teleconference, comes as OSBA’s policy staff is starting to draft policy language for a temporary rule passed last week by the State Board of Education. The new state rule, which is unrelated to the OSBA board’s vote, bans symbols of hate speech in schools.
Jim Green, OSBA’s executive director, told OSBA board members before their vote last week that staff and contractors will work alongside local board members and superintendents to accomplish the association’s goal. He acknowledged that this would in some instances be “exceptionally challenging work.”
“This goal is going to guide the work of the association as a whole,” he said. Green said OSBA would refine details of its approach during coming months.
“I feel the intent and I feel like we are going forward in the right direction,” said board member Sonja Mckenzie (Parkrose SD). “I’m excited about the work ahead.”