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Resolution D: Promote Evidence Based Policies and Practices to Improve Equitable Outcomes for Marginalized Children and Youth

THIS RESOLUTION WAS NOT ADOPTED AT THE STATEWIDE ASSOCIATION MEETING. IT WAS REFERRED BACK TO COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

1 WHEREAS, State, federal and international laws state that equal protection under the law shall not be denied on the basis of sex, race, ability, etc. and research shows that the use of evidence-based policies and practices improve equitable outcomes for our marginalized children and youth; and

2 WHEREAS, Children and youth who are indigenous and/or of color, have worse life outcomes than peers who are not indigenous or of color, and use of evidence based policies and practices improve life outcomes of children and youth in these populations; and

3 WHEREAS, Children and youth who are LGBTQ+ have worse life outcomes than heteronormative peers and use of evidence based policies and practices improve life outcomes of children and youth in this population; and

4 WHEREAS, Children and youth who have disabilities have worse life outcomes than peers who do not have disabilities, and use of evidence based policies and practices improve life outcomes of children and youth in this population; now therefore be it

1 RESOLVED, That California State PTA, and its units, councils, and districts, advocate for legislation, regulations and other measures that promote the use of evidence-based policies and practices to improve equitable outcomes for our most marginalized populations of children and youth; and be it further

2 RESOLVED, That California State PTA and its units, councils, and districts promote the education families, educators, and community members on the importance of using policies and practices in healthcare, education, and public safety that are evidence-based to improve equitable outcomes for children and youth with mental, developmental, or physical disabilities; LGBTQ+ children and youth; indigenous children and youth; and children and youth of color; and be it further

3 RESOLVED, That California State PTA will forward this resolution to National PTA to be considered by its delegates.

BACKGROUND SUMMARY

Research in health, education and juvenile justice fields shows that the use of evidence-based policies and practices improve outcomes for marginalized children and youth. These contrast with practices and perceived remedies that, even though in common use, are not well-proven and may, in fact, be harmful.

Evidence-based practice involves the incorporation of components shown to improve outcomes and quality of life, and are commonly based on systematic reviews, randomized control trials, and proven practice guidelines. Evidence-based policy is consciously anchored to peer-reviewed research evidence, not to current practices or established beliefs alone. The pertinent evidence needs to be well identified, described and analyzed. The policymakers are thus equipped to determine whether the policy is justified by the evidence.

Many examples of evidence-based practices in schools have been shown to improve student outcomes. Cultural bias training and ongoing professional development in culturally responsive teaching positively correlates to increases in achievement and college readiness for students of color and indigenous students, and to decreases in suspension and disciplinary action. The use of Universal Design for Learning instructional strategies and education yields better social and academic outcomes for students with and without disabilities. Science-based health instruction and therapeutic support programs for gender identity and human sexuality are among the practices that improve mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ children and youth.

Policies based on evidence have also been shown to positively correlate to improved and more equitable outcomes for marginalized children and youth. Examples include the screening of employment candidates for bias and intolerance and the identification and treatment of individuals with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.

Equal protection under the law provides for all children to have equal opportunity and access to all aspects of society, regardless of sex, race, ability, or other difference. Our marginalized children and youth include, but are not limited to, those with disabilities, those who are LGBTQ+, and those who are indigenous or of color. These young people tend to experience worse life outcomes than their counterparts. Increased use of evidence-based practices and policies have been proven to improve life prospects for these children and youth.

Originating body was Thirty-Second District PTA