The National Center for Systemic Improvement designed the two resources highlighted in this Spotlight to support state education agency leaders in identifying and addressing long-standing systemic inequities that have resulted in disparities and achievement gaps for students with disabilities.

The briefs explore ways for educators to use an equity-focused lens to view how special education and general education systems have traditionally operated. With an equity perspective, educators can work to build or improve systems so that students with disabilities can thrive and succeed.

Building Authentic Partnerships With Families and Other Stakeholders

U.S. education systems have been shaped by the nation’s dominant culture, frequently preventing the authentic partnership of families and stakeholders vested in the success of students in their communities who have been marginalized.

This resource describes characteristics associated with the dominant culture compared to those rooted in an intentional equity mindset. Use it to assess the cultural norms that currently exist in your educational setting and to think about what changes are needed to create authentic opportunities for partnership that can improve learning conditions and outcomes.

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Equity-Driven Systems Coherence: Important Questions to Ask

Systems coherence is the consistency of beliefs, policies and procedures, and practices that ensure a shared depth of understanding both collectively and individually about the purpose and nature of work in an organization. It requires individuals to take action to ensure all parts of the system are functionally aligned so that people see their role in achieving the purpose and mission of an organization.

Equity-Driven Systems Coherence critically examines the values and beliefs of an organization to explain how systems can be improved and made equitable for all students with disabilities. It guides SEAs on the right questions to ask.

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How WestEd Can Help

WestEd provides technical assistance and consulting, and conducts research and evaluation studies, to help state and local education agencies and human services agencies build capacity to improve developmental and academic outcomes for young people with disabilities.

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