Driving Toward Equity Through School Improvement Community of Practice

In the Driving Equity Through School Improvement Community of Practice (Equity and School Improvement Community), state and district leaders will learn with and from each other about the use of equity indicators to address disparities in outcomes and opportunities to learn.

February 4: Framing the Conversation: Equity Indicators in School Improvement

This topic was covered in the February 4 meeting.

Driving Questions:

  • What was the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Monitoring Educational Equity trying to do and why?
  • Why should, and how can, SEAs and LEAs use the framework of indicators?
  • What is its value of equity indicators in solving challenges in low-performing schools?
  • What should we know about the intersection of race and poverty?

Read the session summary here

CCNetwork Resources

Shifting the Frame: Presentation from Equity Community of Practice

In this portion from our Equity Community of Practice kick-off, on February 4, 2022, Dr. Sean Reardon describes the framing of educational equity that the National Academy of Sciences Commission came to embrace. The reframing of educational equity is grounded in four mindset shifts including moving from a focus on failing schools to addressing the educational system.

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Major Concepts: Presented at the Equity Community of Practice

Christopher Edley describes why the Commission focused on disparities in opportunities, including the context in which students live, and the role of adults inside and outside school systems in mitigating educational disadvantages. Sean Reardon offers an example of how a low performing district might think about analyzing gaps over the trajectory of students’ education.

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Digging into the Indicators: Presentation at the Equity Community of Practice

A succinct review of the Commission’s proposed outcome and opportunity-to-learn indicators, identifying which have an adequate research basis and which need additional work. Christopher Edley explains the choice of constructs associated with indicators for measurement purposes. Edley and Reardon discuss the importance of the indicator about access to effective teaching and its dimensions.

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External Resources

  • Monitoring Educational Equity

    Monitoring Educational Equity proposes a system of indicators of educational equity and presents recommendations for implementation.

March 23: Focus on Student Outcomes and Examining Disparities

This topic was covered in the March 23 meeting.

Driving Questions:

  • Which student outcomes (and constructs) are not typically measured and reported in your state or district? Which might be of interest for illuminating disparities?
  • Where are the greatest disparities in outcomes among student groups in your state or district?
  • Which aspects of current school identification and improvement processes illuminate disparities in outcomes?
  • What are effective methods and tools to support districts and schools in understanding disparities in student outcomes?

Read the session summary here.

CCNetwork Resources

Using Risk Ratios to Identify Disparities in Student Outcomes

Dr. Tom Munk from the IDEA Data Center explains how to display data about outcomes and opportunity-to-learn indicators as risk ratios. He discusses why risk ratios are useful in discussions about disparities and provides guidance for calculating, organizing and interpreting risk ratios. Included are directions for customizing Excel spreadsheets at the district and state levels.

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External Resources

April 27: Opportunity-to-Learn Indicators

Driving  Questions:

  • Which opportunity-to-learn indicators (and constructs) are most important to consider in your state or district?
  • Where are the greatest disparities in opportunities among student groups in low performing schools?
  • What data about opportunities are required to move forward with your state’s strategic priority?
  • How might you apply the information from Session 2 about risk ratios to opportunity-to-learn indicators?

Read the session summary and resources links here.

CCNetwork Resources

Expanding the Definition of Equitable School and Student Success Part 1: Probing Course Levels

Dr. Andrew Rice from Education Analytics discusses course pathways as predictive of important student outcomes. He describes methods and challenges of evaluating course difficulty level and shows results of following course pathways through students’ secondary careers, uncovering sometimes “hidden” tracking. He shares an approach to probing course difficulty by using prior year standardized test scores to categorize courses.

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Expanding the Definition of Equitable School and Student Success Part 2: Social-Emotional Learning and School Culture and Climate

Dr. Libby Pier from Education Analytics discusses the results of a number of studies based on student surveys of social-emotional well-being (self-management, social awareness, growth mindset, and self-efficacy) and culture and climate (sense of belonging, sense of safety, climate of support for academic learning, and knowledge and fairness of discipline, rules, and norms). Results include patterns of grade level and subgroup differences as well as the relative contributions of individual, classroom and school factors.

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External Resources

  • Success Gaps Toolkit

    The Success Gaps Toolkit: Addressing Equity, Inclusion, and Opportunity includes materials and resources for facilitating a team to address success gaps in a district or school by identifying root causes and developing a subsequent improvement plan for reducing success gaps.

June 8: Equity Indicators in the Classroom: Highly Effective Teachers and Teaching

Driving Questions

  • What are the implications of the evidence (e.g., Monitoring Educational Equity Chapter 5) about highly effective and teaching for:
    • teacher preparation?
    • teacher recruitment?
    • teacher assignment in low performing schools?
    • staffing roles, structures, and supports, including professional development?
    •  state expectations for low performing schools?

Session Summary

CCNetwork Resources

Teachers as Creators of Classroom Culture: Videos from the Driving Toward Equity Through School Improvement CoP session

As part of Equity Indicators in the Classroom: Highly Effective Teachers and Teaching, Dr. Mary Murphy, Indiana University and Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences, discusses the necessity of creating a growth mindset culture in classrooms. 

Part 1: Understanding Mindset As Culture Video

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July 27: Focus on Students in Poverty: High Impact Learning Strategies

Driving Questions:

  • What should teachers know about working with students in poverty?
  • What does the evidence reveal about instructional strategies that are most helpful in supporting student learning for students in poverty?
  • How can principals and district personnel support teachers of high poverty students to employ effective strategies?
  • How do the recommended strategies support accelerated learning?
  • What are the implications for SEA guidance and support for low performing schools?

Read session summary here

CCNetwork Resources

Presentation on Supporting Students in Poverty: High Impact Instructional Strategies Toolkit

Dr. Kim Benton provides an overview of the Supporting Students in Poverty with High-Impact Instructional Strategies Toolkit. She gives an orientation to evidence-based, high-impact strategies and supportive actions at teacher, principal, and district and state agency levels. 

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Learning Forward's Professional Learning Standards: Centered on Equity

Dr. Amy Colton provides an introduction to Learning Forward’s new equity-based standards for professional learning and the numerous resources designed to support implementation of the standards.

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Supporting Students in Poverty with High-Impact Instructional Strategies Toolkit

The Supporting Students in Poverty with High-Impact Instructional Strategies Toolkit provides teachers, principals, district staff, and state agencies with evidence-based, high-impact strategies and supportive actions that have the potential to decrease the negative impacts of poverty on student achievement. The toolkit identifies five high-impact instructional strategies that teachers can implement with the support of their principals.

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