This summer, McGraw-Hill released a research paper, Guiding Principles for Equity in Education, designed to help school district leaders who are looking to improve educational equity in their schools. The full article is available for free here.
The following is the Foreword for the paper, written by Bill de la Cruz, renowned expert in building systems of equity in schools:
Equity work is designed to meet the diverse needs of students that the current structure of the K-12 system was not created to address. The public educational system was created in the 1800s to educate a mostly white population of men taught by men – a system designed to be equal and meet the needs of a homogenous group of students. Today, we are attempting to create a system based on equity, rather than equality.
Equity is designed to differentiate for the diverse needs of student learning and create more inclusive environments for the diverse adults who teach in our schools today. There is a lot of research on equity and there is no one size that fits all schools. There are no exact strategies for operationalizing equity in schools and many districts are experimenting with finding the formula that works best to infuse and operationalize equity into their schools.
I have had the pleasure of working with the McGraw-Hill research and education teams and have found them to be dedicated in the effort to find ways to effectively infuse equity into schools. What we are finding is that the issues impacting the ability to operationalize equity work into current district practices and protocols are similar across the country.
The principles shared in this research work start with the premise that the adults in the building are responsible for student learning, for creating equitable systems in schools, and for using an inquisitive approach to designing school systems that are equitable. The approach starts with acquiring an equity mindset, driving your equity plan, and expanding your equity vision. The research from this document is designed to give equity practitioners a road map for creating systems of equity. I encourage you to use this as a tool to drive deep, honest discussions about your own systems and the willingness of everyone involved to create a more equitable educational system.