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A board of one's peers

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 5/3/21

You won't see it anywhere in the Constitution, but it's accepted across the American judicial system that if you're arrested and shuffled into a courtroom, you have the right to be judged by a jury …

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A board of one's peers

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You won't see it anywhere in the Constitution, but it's accepted across the American judicial system that if you're arrested and shuffled into a courtroom, you have the right to be judged by a jury of your peers.

Peers…people who look like you, who come from backgrounds like yours…people who understand your circumstances and who will hopefully be able to judge you more fairly.

That's the judicial system.

What about our education system?

According to statistics put together by Bellwether Education Partners, a non-profit focused on improving educational outcomes for American kids, the average school board member is a white man who makes more than $100,000 a year.

Of course that varies from school to school, district to district, but it's an average.

The majority of students on the other hand?

They're female. They're students of color. They're from low-income homes.

They don't see people like them on their boards of education — particularly the low-income part of the equation. The less money you make, the harder it is for you to find the necessary time off to join a school board.

But imagine what a world that represents for the majority of students…

To have people on a school board who are more like them, who look like them, who come from backgrounds like theirs, who understand their circumstances and will hopefully be able to advocate for them more fairly?

A board of one's peers…

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