Spotlight: Equitable Conditions and Learning Environments Support the Success of the Whole Child, Family, and Community
With safe, supportive, and equitable conditions, all learners can thrive. Two new resources contribute to a growing body of work that highlights the importance of addressing racial inequities in every aspect of education.
The resources highlighted here are designed to help educators address students’ diverse needs and advance the well-being of the whole child, whole person, and whole community through equity-driven continuous improvement practices and strategies to conduct anti-racist evaluations.
Getting Better at Getting More Equitable: Addressing Racial Inequities in Education Using Equity-Driven Continuous Improvement
With growing recognition of race-based disparities in education, stakeholders are increasingly interested in investigating the conditions that have contributed to inequitable opportunities and outcomes for students of color since the beginning of the U.S. education system and identifying opportunities to transform these conditions.
Equity-driven continuous improvement uses continuous improvement practices to uncover, understand, and eliminate inequitable opportunities, experiences, and outcomes based on race, ethnicity, language, immigration status, gender, ability, and other identities and experiences.
This new paper summarizes how a select group of county office of education leaders is developing continuous improvement practices to address racial inequities — both internally and in the school districts they support. In addition, the report provides details on the specific organizational conditions and individual capacities that need to be in place to carry out this work.
The report identifies four fundamental principles that support this work. Equity-driven continuous improvement to address racial inequities:
- Must align with anti-racist work
- Requires that system leaders take action to address individual, interpersonal, and institutional racism
- Should be implemented in partnership with those who are most affected by the system
- Cannot be carried out by individuals alone, nor should responsibility for this work fall only to people of color
Anti-Racist Evaluation Strategies: A Guide for Evaluation Teams
Evaluating programs, practices, and interventions can help determine what is working well, what can be improved, and what the impact is on the communities served. Black, Indigenous, and people of color often participate in the programs being evaluated, but they are primarily excluded from active involvement in the evaluation process as partners or as members of the evaluation team.
Many of the institutions that fund or conduct program evaluations are predominantly white and often employ mainstream evaluation approaches, perspectives, and methods, perpetuating racial biases and unequal power dynamics that persist in U.S. society.
This guide aims to help evaluation teams increase their awareness of racism in evaluation and to help teams employ strategies to conduct anti-racist evaluations. While this guide specifically addresses anti-racist evaluation, the content is also informed by literature on culturally responsive and equitable research and evaluation, including Reflections on Applying Principles of Equitable Evaluation from the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center.
This guide’s overarching themes include:
- Engaging in anti-racist self-reflection and learning
- Forming collaborative and equitable partnerships
- Considering cultural, historical, and political contexts
Posted on June 29, 2021