Apr 7, 2022

A Mission and a Mechanism for Educational Equity

Allison Crean Davis
Designing for Equity Logo

The National Comprehensive Center is introducing a new mission statement that focuses on why we do this work and the outcomes we are seeking to achieve. Through a process of internal discussion, reflection, and consultation with external partners, we have arrived at a statement we are excited to stand behind:

The National Comprehensive Center's mission is to bolster equity by helping educational systems provide the resources, create the policies, and enact the instructional practices required for all groups of students to learn, grow, and achieve regardless of their identity and experiences.

Our prior mission statement spoke to what we do, including assessing nationwide education needs, building the capacity of regional and state education leaders, bolstering collaboration within the broader Comprehensive Center Network (CCNetwork) and other federally funded technical assistance centers, and representing the CCNetwork in our work with the U.S. Department of Education. Our new version gets at the central tenet of our work: equity.

Equity in learning opportunities for all students is our "why." Inequity in student outcomes and resources is a long-lasting, persistent concern with our present education system that is essential to address. We are not alone in this mission: it is consistent with an ecosystem of organizations working diligently toward similar goals within the education sector.

Our unique charge as a federally-funded center guides how we translate this mission into action. We can communicate an evidence-based national perspective on the state of equity in education and help education leaders increase equitable conditions for learning within their own contexts.

Watch for our national scan of education equity policies, done in partnership with Education Commission of the States. The scan aligns to indicators for monitoring equity developed by the National Academy of Sciences (Edley, et al., 2019), and will provide a baseline understanding of the evidence-based policy conditions and structures that are already in place, state-by-state, for educational equity. We've launched a Community of Practice, Driving Toward Equity Through School Improvement, working with leaders from ten states to assess the root causes of inequitable student outcomes and to prioritize strategic efforts to ensure their education systems work for all children. We're continuing to help educators examine spending data and engage in productive conversations with stakeholders about the need for equitable resource allocation.

And finally, we are also launching this blog series on Designing for Equity. Through all of our work, we hold equity as a north star, and know that progress toward this must be intentional. As such, the blog is both a tool to share our efforts and a mechanism for holding ourselves accountable to our mission. We're doing work internally to build our own understanding of the root causes of historical educational inequities, surfacing implications for our work, and translating our thinking to current efforts and future plans. Join us here as we learn together.