Implementing programs and practices that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across schools and districts
Districts are committed to providing an equitable education for all of the students they serve, including those living in poverty, students of color, English learners, and special education students. But huge gaps persist related to opportunities for core learning, enrichment, and technology access. It can be challenging for districts to serve all of these groups and to provide specialized programs and services. Explore the challenges related to Equity -- Opportunity Gaps, Supporting Marginalized Students, Supporting English Learners, Special Education, Culturally-Responsive Practices, and Summer Slide -- below.
Many districts report opportunity gaps that leave underrepresented students behind, from access to Pre-K programs and summer learning opportunities to enrollment in rigorous academic courses. Technology is another opportunity gap area, with some districts struggling to provide equitable access to technology at school and at home to spur deeper learning. How can districts intentionally work to close these opportunity gaps?
Supporting Marginalized Students
As student populations become increasingly diverse, schools and districts aspire to meet the needs of learners from numerous racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. But students of color and students in poverty often have achievement scores, attendance rates, and graduation rates well below other students. How can schools and districts best support these students, from providing targeted, research-based initiatives to connecting students and families to social services?
Supporting English Learners
Districts are working to serve a growing and diverse -- in first language spoken and time spent in the US, among other factors -- population of English learners. But it can be difficult to provide appropriate supports, from integrating students’ English language development with their learning of subject matter concepts to implementing bilingual education programs. How can districts best support K12 English learners?
Districts are working to support special education students with strong structures for identifying, scheduling, and accommodating them, as well as striving to ensure that special education students are integrated members of the school community.
Districts are working to implement culturally-responsive practices; they strive to help teachers build stronger relationships with students and to implement discipline policies in a way that does not target students of color. But it can be difficult to support all staff to recognize and incorporate the assets all students bring into the classroom, and to help students respect the diversity of their school environment. How can districts ensure that learning experiences, from curriculum through assessment, are relevant to all students?
Many districts are striving to diminish students’ summer learning loss, which is particularly apparent for students in poverty and students of color. But adequate funding opportunities for summer programming are lacking. How can schools minimize summer learning loss and prevent teachers from spending valuable time reviewing in order to catch students up at the beginning of each school year?