Cultural and Linguistic Competency Training for Educators Launches in Washington State
Author | Alyssa Miller
As part of the statewide focus on inequities experienced by students of color in the classroom and closing the opportunity gap in Washington State, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has launched The Cultural and Linguistic Competency Training modules through a contract with Public Consulting Group, Inc., the leading provider of research-based, online professional learning programs. Following a competitive bidding process, PCG was selected as the provider for the contract and will manage the delivery of the training modules to districts throughout the state that elect to participate.
Each of Washington state’s local educational agencies, including school districts, tribal compact and charter schools will receive one user license, for use by a district designated workshop facilitator, to PCG’s OSPI customized online course, Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher with Strategies for Language Acquisition. Instead of developing a single, new course from scratch, PCG leveraged content from existing, best-in-class online courses to build a tailored training program for OSPI. These trainings are based on the work of Gary Howard and Dr. Eugenia Mora-Flores who are renowned national experts in the areas of cultural competency and English Language Learners and were taken from the following PCG courses including:
- Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher, Gary Howard teaches how to value and integrate the cultures represented in classrooms into instruction and create a classroom that is culturally inviting to all students.
- Pedagogical Strategies for English Learners, Dr. Eugenia Mora-Flores connects strategies and practices to meet the unique language needs of English language learners by differentiated instruction and thinking about content in critical and creative ways.
The online format will allow district facilitators flexibility with their own schedules. Additionally, the training program includes a centralized Resource Center which offers access to additional content and resources provided by Washington state stakeholders to supplement the material covered in the course. The collaborative online forum will also allow facilitators to connect with each other statewide, share implementation progress and recommendations using a newsfeed, engage in discussion forums and virtual groups, and utilize the shared resource library.
In addition to the online course and Resource Center, the training will include other materials (PowerPoint presentation decks and a Facilitation Guide) for facilitators to lead and deliver district-based, full- or half-day cultural and linguistic competency-focused workshops to educators, administrators, and other staff using video and text-based resources. These workshop sessions will include structured activities, guiding questions, participant-led discussions, and video demonstrations of best practices in real classrooms. This innovative and comprehensive approach will support equity leadership transformation and teaching across Washington state and will serve diverse learners by establishing a practice of cultural responsiveness.
“Increasing the awareness of cultural and linguistic competency for educators across schools in Washington will help school district understand how to bridge the racial and ethnic gaps between students and teachers, creating the opportunity for more equitable opportunities for student success,” said Alvin Crawford, General Manager of PCG Education. “We’re honored to partner with OSPI on increasing awareness to this important issue, and I’m proud of PCG’s approach of leveraging nationally-recognized education leaders on cultural and equity to develop this training.”
In 2009, the Washington Legislature created the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC) to advise OSPI, and other education agencies, on strategies to address the opportunity gap, which include cultural competence trainings. The EOGOAC recommendations passed in Fourth Substitute House Bill 1541,and authorized the development of training on cultural competence and language acquisition. As part of this focus on equity, OSPI saw an opportunity to give their educators and school administrators the training they need to develop culturally competent skills and mindsets, ultimately improving the quality of public education.
About Public Consulting Group
Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector solutions implementation and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has over 2,000 professionals in more than 50 offices around the US, in Canada and in Europe. PCG’s Education practice offers consulting services and technology solutions that help schools, school districts, and state education agencies/ministries of education to promote student success, improve programs and processes, and optimize financial resources. To learn more, visit http://www.publicconsultinggroup.com/education.