Blog

Disclaimer: This blog is a collection of opinions of various individuals. WAESN believe in the ability to hold multiple truths; therefore, some blog posts may not reflect the beliefs of WAESN as an organization. We also believe the political nature of education is nuanced and needs to be addressed as such. We believe the goal of Ethnic Studies is to dismantle oppressive systems which requires ongoing critique of education leaders, organizations, and institutions. This website and blog are funded by our 501(c)(4) organization and WAESN is not affiliated with any political party.

I Am Not a Rule Breaker

By Emily Vo Emily is the recipient of our Youth Scholarship Essay Contest for the 9th and 10th grade. They are a sophomore at Cleveland STEM High School in Seattle. Their essay below is in response to the prompt created by the WAESN Youth Advisory Board (YAB): Tell us about a time you broke the rules and why. Emily’s essay was selected by a…

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What Have Dems Done for Us Lately?

by the WAESN Legislative Committee This post is a companion piece to our WAESUP WAESN?? episode, Bursting the Blue Bubble. Addressing the Equity Gap in Washington State’s Education Equity Work  What Gaps? As recent studies have shown, Washington faces a harsh equity and achievement gap. According to figure one from EdTrust’s 2020 report, students of color and low income students graduate at lower rates…

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Learn to Say Her Name

by Anya Souza-Ponce Anya is the recipient of our Youth Scholarship Essay Contest for the 11th and 12th grade. She is a junior at Ballard High School in Seattle and a member of the NAACP Youth Council. Her essay below is in response to the prompt created by the WAESN Youth Advisory Board (YAB): Tell us about a time you broke the rules and…

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Hidden Curriculum in Earth Science

This month’s blog post comes to us from teaching candidate, Renee Torrie. Renee learned about different types of hidden curriculum in their Master’s in Teaching program at the University of Washington and reflected on how previously lessons they’d written contained hidden curriculum. Explicit curriculum is the message we intentionally want to convey to students in a lesson. Hidden curriculum is what the students are…

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Who is Trying to Control Education in Washington State?

by the WAESN Legislative Committee This upcoming WA State legislative session, beginning January 9th, 2023, will feature the newest attempt of right-wing organizers and politicians to privatize and further control what our students learn in school, according to a briefing from Senator Jim McCune’s office. McCune, from the 2nd District, calls his package of nine bills the “Parents’ Education Bill of Rights,” yet what…

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Jewishness and Ethnic Studies

This is the third and final installment of this series. It focuses on identity and positionality. Jeff and I invited Gabriella Sanchez-Stern to this conversation to bring in the voice and experience of a Jewish person of color, since that has been a topic we’ve discussed in the past two installments. Gabriella: Hello, I’m Gabriella Sanchez-Stern. My pronouns are she/her/ella, and I identify as…

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Reflections on Critical Race Theory

by Althea Haug Below is a continuation of student work, this time from a Master’s in Teaching candidate from the University of Washington. Critical Race Theory (CRT) has had so much media attention recently and I don’t think a lot of people who talk about it know what it truly is. I learned a lot from the readings we did about CRT and from…

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Black is Beautiful

Jordyn Bryant This month’s guest blog post comes from a University of Washington undergraduate student, Jordyn Bryant, and reflections on learning from a course called, Race Ethnicity and Education. Black history is rich. Black history is painful and traumatic. Black history is intricate, beautiful, empowering, and full of complexities. It is also overpowering and violent, especially to a young Black student. To a White…

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Questions for America

Poetry by Ronnie Bwambale Bryan This month’s blog post comes from a student poet. My name is Ronnie Bwambale Bryan. I was born on April 25th, 2003, in Fort Portal, Uganda. I don’t want to write my full life story. I’m not sure if anyone will be interested in reading about this brief but significant chapter of my life. I’ve decided to share this…

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Tezcatlipoca

written by Andrea Malagón This past spring, our Executive Director taught a course in the Department of American Ethnic Studies called Race, Ethnicity, and Education. They invited some of their students to submit their reflections and essays. This is the first of several. Below, Andrea Malagón, reflects on their learning from a study called “Abby as an Ally” that follows a white student enrolled…

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CRT and School Funding

Who controls education in Washington State, Part 3 In order to understand who controls education in Washington State, we must follow the money and the 50 year battle for equitable education spending  “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste…

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Jewishness and Ethnic Studies

Part 2: Zionism and “The Jewish Question” This blog post is a continuation of the dialogue between WAESN Executive Director, Tracy Castro-Gill, and Educator/Librarian, Jeff Treistman. The first installment tried to answer the question, “Are Jews white?” This installment explains Zionism and tries to answer the questions, “Are Jews indigenous to Israel?” and “What is ‘The Jewish Question’?” We enter into this dialogue because…

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Jewishness and Ethnic Studies

A conversation between WAESN Executive Director, Tracy Castro-Gill  and Educator/Librarian, Jeff Treistman My former colleague and current friend and co-conspirator, Jeff Treistman, and I sat down to discuss the tension between ethnic studies and Jewishness. What we produced is a lengthy dialogue about some of the largest points of contention. This is the first installment of three. Each installment will end with some reflection…

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Petition: Support RRHS BSU Students and Educators

What follows is a letter drafted by the River Ridge High School (RRHS) BSU outlining their current experiences and demands. It was sent to Superintendent Reykdal who has yet to respond as of March 3, 2022, the date of this publication. You can support the BSU by signing this petition, which will send a letter in support of their below demands to Superintendent Reykdal…

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