Adama Guede, Graduate from the Edgewood College School of Education, Featured in the Cap Times
Adama Guede, graduate from the Edgewood College School of Education, was featured in the February 20, 2019 article from the Cap Times.
Given the longstanding achievement gap in Madison between black and white students, which follow racial achievement gaps seen statewide year-after-year, the move by the Madison Metropolitan School District to launch a Black Excellence Plan last summer made sense to many.
The plan, which was incorporated into the district’s strategic framework, included a pledge from the district to focus on creating a community coalition that would “design new ways to care for and meet the social-emotional and academic needs of black students,” and “make our district and our community better for all.”
But the achievement gap wasn’t the only challenge students, staff and families had to deal with this school year in a district with nearly 13,200 non-white students, making up about 57 percent of the enrollment. Eighteen percent of students in MMSD are black.
Five times this school year, an MMSD teacher or substitute teacher has used a racial slur in front of a student. Hamilton Middle School experienced the first reported incident on Oct. 31, 2018...
Part of their work has included sharing lessons on how to have conversations with middle school students about race and identity, which can be tough topics.
“You just kind of have to do it,” said Adama Guede, a sixth-grade teacher at Hamilton who is part of the Black Educators Network, a group that started in 2015 to provide a safe space for black educators to talk about issues such as a lack of diversity and creating culturally responsive curriculum. “It’s a conversation where it’s difficult, but if you don’t have it, things are just going to stay that way. We told our students that we know this is going to be a touchy subject, and might be controversial or difficult to talk about, but if we don’t talk about it nothing is going to change.”