Monday, December 1, 2014

by Schools, Culture, and Society

DeeAnn Grove
In her editorial, “School District Needs a Social Justice Educator,” published in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, SCS doctoral candidate DeeAnn Grove addressed the need for a social justice educator to be hired as the new equity director in the Iowa City Community School District. “Social justice educators,” Grove said, “seek to address the ways power and privilege negatively impact students from historically marginalized populations at both a policy and an individual level.”

Grove’s interest in race, education, and equity grew from her coursework in the Schools, Culture, and Society program. Specifically, it was her coursework that focused on the educational experiences of historically marginalized populations, contemporary education policy, and teacher education. Being exposed to the work of historians of education like Jonathan Zimmerman and Diane Ravitch has inspired Grove to be actively engaged in public debate, especially as it pertains to issues of equity in education.

Grove has written other editorials and provided commentary for the Press-Citizen regarding the educational equity challenges facing the school district. Furthermore, she regularly attends school board meetings, participates in social media forums dedicated to school district issues, and coaches in a local elementary school.

Grove believes that SCS students are well positioned to “help illuminate equity issues and share their knowledge with district leaders.” She recommends for students who are interested, to contact the new equity director and offer to provide support in whatever capacity they feel best qualified. “Anyone,” Grove says, “can attend the Equity Committee meetings and students should offer to serve on that committee. Additionally, there are many community groups working with children and the school district to provide equitable educational experiences. When designing research projects for their coursework, students should consider focusing on our local district.”