A statement from the PATINS Project
To every current and former Black PATINS staff, intern, stakeholder, collaborator, friend, and your families, your lives matter. We share in the immeasurable hurt, anger, and grief from the horrific treatment and death of George Floyd, and with every new name surfacing from the past and in the days since we are newly horrified. Behind every attack on Black lives in our country's timeline, there exists a name, a face, grieving loved ones, and lost opportunities at the hand of hatred.
The PATINS mission is to support all Indiana public schools in creating and sustaining an equitable learning environment for every student. We know that injustices need to be addressed in speaking out, stepping up, and being a part of the solution even though the conversation is difficult, the resistance surrounds you, and chains from the past seem impossible to break. We see you, we support you, and we stand by you in this battle. We have specific work to do on ourselves and we know that immediate and deliberate action is the only way to facilitate positive change for our Indiana Black students, who have long been underserved within the education system, evidenced by Black Indiana students passing English/Language Arts assessment at a significantly lower rate than their White peers (Achievement Report from SBOE) and the 2019 Nation’s Report Card (NAEP), which indicates a disparity of 28 points in reading between Black and White Indiana students. This matters because the link between reading and juvenile detention and later incarceration is directly correlated. 34% of Indiana’s incarcerated population is Black, while only 9% of Indiana’s total population is Black (prisonpolicy.org). 34% of Indiana inmates are also functionally illiterate (Indiana Dept. of Correction).
PATINS is asking every Indiana educator to impact these outcomes by implementing the science of reading, accessible materials, appropriate accommodations, and universally designed learning spaces to ensure that our Black Indiana students experience equitable access to effective and systematic instruction.
PATINS is committed to being anti-racist. As a collective staff, PATINS is actively addressing any implicit bias that may be evident in our services and perspectives through intentional reflection, training, and study. We are also addressing the disparity in literacy outcomes through dedicated weekly meetings, which drives all of our work, services, and products. We are determined to add opportunities in places where they have been unjustly taken from Black students. Through this work, it is our goal to identify best practices for promoting literacy as one means to the end of systemic racism and cultural divide.