Letter to the Editor | Diverse perspectives increase rigor, contribute to academic excellence

After two years of meeting our teachers through Zoom, it was wonderful to return to the classroom for Back to School night.

We felt especially heartened to hear from teachers about how they plan to incorporate social justice and identity into the curriculum, from reading diverse, award-winning books to exploring geography, culture and current events through multiple perspectives.

Many parents in our community didn’t have the fortune of a multicultural education when we were growing up. Now our children do. Our children are still learning literary analysis, the components of persuasive essays, critical developments in world and U.S. history — the nuts and bolts at the core of their education. But they’re doing so through a wider, more inclusive and equitable lens. Including diverse perspectives doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of their education. Rather, it increases rigor, helping our children open up their field of view beyond Piedmont. 

Improving the educational experience for all of the students in our community, however, isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. It takes time, training, funds, resources, and planning — especially if we want to do this work well. For this reason, the Piedmont Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee (PADC) advocated for a new position in the Piedmont Unified School District, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. That position has been filled by Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, and we are thrilled to include her as an important part of our community. We believe her leadership, expertise, and guidance are critical and necessary in navigating the challenge of creating a more culturally diverse learning experience.

Our students must prepare to be active members of an increasingly multicultural community, to live, work and grow within that community. Piedmont’s efforts to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into our schools means that we are cementing our commitment to academic excellence. 

Join PADC for our next general meeting on September 14! Subscribe to our newsletter for updates and details at https://www.padc.info/subscribe.

3 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor | Diverse perspectives increase rigor, contribute to academic excellence

  1. Thank you for this perspective, Ellen–so right that these are essential components of an excellent and rigorous education!

  2. I’d like to correct Dr. V’s name: Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard.
    I look forward to seeing how far our district will go and experiencing how we will continue to be leading in this area.
    PADC has openings for school liaisons, both staff/faculty/employees and parents, for every school site. Please join us if you are interested in advancing diversity, equity, and anti-racism in PUSD.

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