Street Data: Choosing the Margins: Shane Safir, Jamila Dugan
A GOOD READ THAT LEADS TO EXCELLENT CONVERSATIONS!
Since the release of Street Data, Jamila and I have been extremely humbled and excited by the outpouring of interest and support. We are floored that the book hit bestseller status before Corwin could even announce its release! As we work to bring the concepts of Street Data to life, we are excited to share our journey of discovery and upcoming learning opportunities for you to learn alongside us, which we are currently designing. If you have ideas for workshops or course topics you would like us to offer, please send an email to email@example.com. We value that Street Data!
This month, I am featuring a piece from Jamila who writes about bringing one of the key concepts in the book, choosing the margins, to life. Thanks for all of your support!
Street Data: Choosing the Margins
By Dr. Jamila Dugan
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many educators have been working harder than ever to think differently about how we do schooling: how to use this moment of structural disruption to try something new, to stare the (already) glaring inequities in the face, and to break ourselves out of the never-ending cycle of traditional school improvement. Along this journey, many of my colleagues and I have been in constant states of reflection. In the early stages of Covid 19, I was inspired by scholars’ calls to action to learn from our failed efforts to meet the needs of Black and other minoritized students and plan forward based on the genius of our students. This was affirming for me. I cringe every time I see Black students problematized and I spend a lot of time helping leaders develop school visions that elevate the rich historical and cultural wealth of students and families.
As Shane and I worked on developing the Street Data model, I’ve become increasingly eager to spread the word about a framework that pushes us to engage in practices like flipping the dashboard to get rid of our fixation on big data and zooming into the student experience as our greatest source of data, honoring Black and Indigenous educational traditions by centering liberation over standardization, and choosing students at the margins as our primary guides in school leadership and design. To make this radical shift, we start with an unequivocal commitment to the windy road of equity work which starts with awareness and critical self-reflection. In Chapter 2 of Street Data, I argue that “ensuring high outcomes for all is much more than a task that can be checked off a list.”
Equity isn’t a destination but an unwavering commitment to a journey. It can be easy to focus on where we hope to land and lose sight of the deliberate daily actions that constitute the process.”