Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

The DOE uses an educational strategy that embraces students’ identities. We call it “culturally responsive-sustaining education (CR-SE).” It is a way of seeing diversity as a source of knowledge.

With CR-SE, students use their own identity to get education. They learn using aspects of their race, social class, gender, language, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or ability.

Studies show that students learning with CR-SE are more active in class. They graduate more often, with better grades. Their self-esteem improves, and they become better citizens.

New York City is a diverse and inspiring city. But it, like much of America, is rife with bias and inequality. We want to give students mirrors that reflect the greatness of who their people are, and windows into the world that allow students to connect across cultures.

To give all students both windows and mirrors, we will adopt a culturally responsive approach throughout all major policy areas.

For more, view the NYC DOE Definition of the proposed policy for Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education in Schools, below.

Our Approach

CR-SE requires schools and districts to:

  • See and value the background, views, and needs of all students. This includes experiences related to race, culture, language, or ability.

  • Be aware of past and present forms of bias and oppression.

  • Identify and stop practices that boost historically advantaged groups at the expense of marginalized students.

  • Use teaching methods that are challenging, but honor students’ diversity. Students’ lives and identities should connect to their education. They should become critical thinkers and feel the agency to end inequality.

  • Employ staff with high expectations for all students. They must be able to examine their own personal beliefs around identity, while giving professional learning and support.

  • Build strong connections with students. Understand their lives, backgrounds, and identities.

  • Build partnerships with families and communities. These bonds can be a source of knowledge, and help shape school priorities.

  • Create emotional safe spaces and foster trust among students. In a conflict, use restorative practices to reconcile both sides. Nurture students’ identities and give them a sense of ownership and belonging.

District 11 Partnership with NYU Metro Center

with a focus on implementing

CR-SE Framework.

District 11 has partnered with NYU Metro Center with the goal of transforming equity into reality through short- and long-term results focused on implementing the Cultural Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework. NYU Center's experts work closely with district 11 school administrators, teachers, students, and parent coordinators to directly impact the lives of students.  

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